Manchester United could be forced into action in their pursuit of Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, with the club yet to complete a deal despite several weeks of intense negotiations with the Catalan club.
De Jong has been the club’s number one priority all summer but with less than a week to go before United leave for their pre-season tour, he remains a Barcelona player.
United are, however, progressing with a deal to reunite the midfielder with Erik ten Hag, with reports earlier this week describing the affair as ‘90% completed’.
Chelsea, under new American ownership, are likely to splash the cash this summer and overhauling the midfield could be one of Thomas Tuchel’s priorities this summer.
According to The Guardian, the London club are monitoring United’s deal for De Jong and are ready to swoop in if a proposed transfer to the Reds falls through.
The 25-year-old is believed to be on Tuchel’s list of targets this summer and their place in next season’s Champions League gives them a clear advantage. Furthermore, it’s stated that Tuchel followed the Dutchman closely before he left Ajax for Barcelona.
Most United fans around the globe would be heartbroken to see a deal for De Jong fall through at this stage. The prolonged nature of this summer’s trendy saga has left supporters frustrated and should it culminate in him joining a rival instead, tensions would boil over.
Additionally, De Jong is the player Ten Hag is craving to revamp his midfield. As seen in his scintillating Ajax side in 2019, De Jong would be integral to Ten Hag’s plans this season.
There is, however, a feeling that Chelsea have more pressing matters to deal with before they can advance on signing a midfielder. They have already lost two senior centre-backs this summer, with replacing at least one said to be their priority.
They are also in negotiations with Manchester City over Raheem Sterling, who is likely to leave Pep Guardiola’s side.