Manchester United and Chelsea have taken their rivalry off the pitch to the transfer market, with both teams keen on signing Frenkie De Jong. Since the arrival of Erik Ten Hag as the new Man United manager, the Red Devils have indicated a strong interest in signing the Dutch and former Ajax playmaker.
Man United’s race to sign the player has assumed a new dimension as fierce domestic rivals, Chelsea, join the race dramatically and unexpectedly. This will leave Barcelona in a more advantaged bargaining position as the two clubs lock horns to bring the player to the Premier League.
Frenkie De Jong: Man United vs Barcelona Hide And Seek Games
Before Chelsea’s interest in De Jong, the Man United negotiation team led by John Murtough landed in Spain to put the finishing touches to the deal. Erik Ten Hag has identified the player as his prime target in his Man United midfield plan.
The Red Devils have reportedly agreed on a deal with the Spanish giants. However, Barcelona President Joan Laporta has come out publicly to denounce news of the agreement with Manchester United. According to him, they have received an offer for the player but are not ready to sell him.
Laporta’s statement came on the backdrop of a condition that they have given to De Jong to accept a pay cut if he wants to stay. Pundits have criticized Barca’s double-face on Frenkie De Jong, dismissing it as shabby tactics to compel suitors to pay higher.
Chelsea Joins Race
Another interesting episode of the Frenkie De Jong saga has unfolded as the Blues, led by their new owner Todd Boehly joins the race to sign the highly-rated midfielder. Todd Boehly is currently on the negotiation table as he seeks to bolster the Blues. Todd Boehly will face stiff competition from Man United in their attempt to sign the player.
The Red Devils are not giving up on their pursuit of the player. De Jong reportedly reversed his decision not to consider a switch to Manchester United. However, the intrusion of the Blues into the race will leave the Netherland international with more latitude to choose from.
It is still unclear whether De Jong will decide to take a pay cut and stay at Barcelona or will opt for a leave. He reportedly prefers to stay at Camp Nou and is open to negotiations on a pay cut. Meanwhile, Barcelona still owes the player and have made attempts to shift the debt burden to potential suitors, a move that United has rejected. The entry of Todd Boehly into the race will certainly turn the table in Barcelona’s favor.
Frenkie De Jong: Manchester United or Chelsea?
Most pundits have begun to debate who will likely emerge victorious if De Jong finally leaves Camp Nou. Chelsea are reportedly playing the cards of a swap deal, with Marcus Alonso to be axed off the Blues squad in exchange for De Jong. Barcelona have indicated an interest in Alonso and César Azpilicueta, but Azpilicueta has signed a new deal with Chelsea which means the club’s captain is going nowhere this summer.
Reports on De Jong speculate that Todd Boehly has a Champions League package for the Dutch midfielder next season. This places them in a vantage position to attract players to the club. Man United only has Erik Ten Hag’s influence and the club prays the midfielder welcomes a reunion with his former manager.