Chelsea have joined Manchester United in the race to sign Frenkie de Jong and have opened negotiations with Barcelona over a deal for the midfielder.
According to The Athletic, Thomas Tuchel’s side are understood to be ‘optimistic’ about agreeing a deal for De Jong, who has been subject of strong interest from United throughout the summer.
United agreed an initial fee of around £63m with Barcelona earlier in the summer, though a deal has since stalled as the Netherlands international weighs up a decision on his future.
Erik ten Hag had hoped to reunite with the former Ajax midfielder in the Premier League and Chelsea’s interest will be met with apprehension at United, who have spent the summer chasing their number one target.
🚨 Chelsea have offered Brighton £50m+ for Marc Cucurella. Not yet done as #BHAFC seek higher fee & replacement: Colwill top target. Cucurella personal terms agreed. #CFC also in talks with Barcelona for Frenkie de Jong + hope to strike deal @TheAthleticUK https://t.co/XTI76wRynC
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) August 3, 2022
Complications over unpaid wages owed to De Jong from Barcelona have also stalled progress on an exit, with the Catalans open to offloading the Dutchman in a bid to raise funds and reduce their wage bill.
Chelsea’s interest comes as the Blues step up their recruitment drive in the final weeks of the window, with the west Londoners also in advanced talks with Brighton over a deal for Marc Cucurella.
Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly and Gabriel Slonina have already moved to Stamford Bridge this summer, while the club are closing in on a deal for Aston Villa’s highly-rated teenager Carney Chukwuemeka.