Chelsea report: Blues have cunning plan to HIJACK Manchester United's deal for Frenkie de Jong

Frenkie de Jong
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Chelsea are planning to hijack Manchester United's move for Frenkie de Jong, according to reports.

The Netherlands international is the Red Devils' top transfer target ahead of Erik ten Hag's debut campaign at Old Trafford.

United (opens in new tab) have been tracking the midfielder all summer long but are struggling to get a deal over the line.

Despite agreeing a £63m transfer fee with Barcelona (opens in new tab), United have so far been unable to convince De Jong to make the move to Manchester.

The 25-year-old is keen to stay at the Camp Nou, while the fact that the La Liga giants owe him around £14m in deferred salary payments complicates matters further.

Thomas Tuchel

(Image credit: Ivan Yordanov/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

And the saga has now taken another dramatic twist with Chelsea (opens in new tab) poised to rival United for De Jong's signature.

The Spanish publication Sport (opens in new tab) writes that the Blues have a plan to try and land the former Ajax man ahead of United.

Chelsea are aware that Barcelona are tracking Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso, both of whom are out of contract at Stamford Bridge in 2023.

And the west Londoners could offer both Spaniards to Barcelona in a part-exchange deal for De Jong.

Chelsea must still convince the player to join them, and owner Todd Boehly knows that De Jong's preference is to stay put.

But as the report states, Chelsea have the edge on United in one crucial area: they will be playing Champions League football this coming season.

De Jong is also more open to the idea of living in London than Manchester - a further boost to Chelsea's chances of hijacking United's deal.

The Red Devils are not ready to give up yet, though, with the club willing to pay De Jong a huge salary to make up for the £14m he is owed by Barcelona.

If the Dutchman does move on this summer, the La Liga side plan to replace him with Manchester City (opens in new tab) schemer Bernardo Silva.

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Greg Lea

Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).