Man Utd continue push for Frenkie de Jong; Chelsea register interest

Graeme Bailey
Frenkie de Jong's future is still up in the air
Frenkie de Jong's future is still up in the air / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Manchester United are continuing to hold talks with Barcelona as they try and solve the impasse over Frenkie de Jong, who is also now the subject of interest from Chelsea, 90min understands.

United had hoped the deal for De Jong would have been completed by now after opening talks last month, but despite having a transfer agreed in principle with Barcelona, they are no closer to bringing the Dutchman to Old Trafford.

There are various background issues that De Jong, his agents and Barcelona are attempting to work through, namely significant back payments.

It has emerged that the club owe the 25-year-old money after reducing his salary during the peak of the Covid crisis, while future payments written into De Jong's contract would mean Barca have to cough up nearly £20m before he leaves.

90min also understands that Barcelona owe money to De Jong's agents too - but as it stands the club are looking for the player to waive some of the monies owned, while also asking United to possibly contribute. It is this key detail that is holding up the move.

Sources close to United have told us they are "infuriated" and "exasperated' by the delays as they firmly believe the player is open to moving to the club because of Erik ten Hag. The Dutchman has made De Jong, who he managed at Ajax, his number one summer target and has spoken to him at length about moving to Old Trafford.

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There have been reports that De Jong is not keen on moving to United, but sources have insisted to 90min that is not the case and they believe he does want to join them this summer.

Barca have also insisted they want De Jong to stay, but only on the basis he takes a pay cut - which in essence would mean him waiving the money he is owed, something the player and his camp are not happy about.

To complicate matters further, it has emerged that Chelsea are now being kept informed of events.

Chelsea and Barcelona are enjoying a hectic summer together, as while they battle each other for Ousmane Dembele, Raphinha and Jules Kounde, they are also in talks over potential deals.

Barcelona are keen to land Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta, but they want them to be involved in some sort of player plus cash deal. They have already offered American full-back Sergino Dest and Chelsea are considering that option.

But 90min understands that intermediaries have now raised the subject of De Jong possibly moving to Stamford Bridge, and it is already known Chelsea would like a new midfielder having tried, and failed, to land Aurelien Tchouameni earlier this summer.