Chelsea ‘granted permission’ by Barcelona in De Jong deal as agent ‘assesses situation’
Chelsea have been handed a boost in their bid to land Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona, as the Spanish club ‘granted permission to negotiate directly’ with the midfielder.
De Jong has been Manchester United’s priority signing this summer, but Chelsea are now thought to be very much in the mix to sign the Dutch midfielder.
READ MORE: De Jong, Cucurella scavenged after hunting fails as Chelsea seek more than transfer minimum
A report on Wednesday claimed talks between Chelsea and Barcelona over a move for the midfielder have ‘reached new levels in the last few days’, with United ‘weighing up’ whether to walk away from the deal.
The Athletic, among others, claim United are still confident of landing their top target, but Spanish publication Sport (via Sport Witness) claim Chelsea have been handed the reins to push for the midfielder.
Barcelona are said to have ‘granted permission to Chelsea to negotiate directly’ with the 25-year-old, with ‘everything in the hands’ of the Dutch international.
The Spanish club continue to push De Jong towards the exit as they are unable to afford his current wages, though they do want to keep him if he agrees to take a significant salary reduction.
But De Jong has so far stood his ground and is unwilling to accept either new terms at the Nou Camp, or a move elsewhere, and appears to be particularly against a move to Manchester United.
The report claims his agents are now in Barcelona to ‘assess their client’s situation’, where they may hold meetings with the Chelsea bosses.
Chelsea do hold cards in a possible bid for De Jong, owing to Barcelona’s interest in both Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso.
It’s claimed the Catalans were hoping not to pay more than €10m (£8.4m) for either Azpilicueta or Alonso, while Chelsea are holding out for €25m (£20.9m) for the pair.
And it’s thought the clubs could agree a swap deal which would see Chelsea offer £50m plus Azpilicueta and Alonso for De Jong, to match the £71m fee United have already agreed for the Dutch international.
The deal may also depend on Chelsea’s ability to sign replacements, with Wesley Fofana and Marc Cucurella the preferred options of Thomas Tuchel and owner Todd Boehly.
Fabrizio Romano claimed Cucurella was a done deal before Brighton called bullsh*t, though it’s thought negotiations over Levi Colwill moving in the other direction are preventing a formal announcement, which is expected soon.
Fofana meanwhile is keen on a move to Stamford Bridge, presumably because he wants to be rescued from Leicester’s sinking ship, with the Foxes said to want £70m for the centre-back.
Source: All The News – Football365
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