Chelsea are reportedly keen to jump to the head of the queue for Frenkie de Jong and offer up to £85million to sign him, after it emerged the midfielder was ready to leave Barcelona this summer.
The Netherlands international was all but set to join Manchester United in 2022 after the Premier League club put in a £70m bid but De Jong instead opted to stay with the LaLiga giants.
However, after growing increasingly discontent with the issues on and off the pitch, the 26-year-old is reportedly now open to a switch, with his previous links to the Red Devils and manager Erik ten Hag raising the possibly of him completing a move to Manchester.
But according to Sport, the Blues are also eager to add the stylish No 6 to their ranks and would be willing to part with £85m to bring him to Stamford Bridge.
The report claims that De Jong, who has two years remaining on his deal with the Catalan club, is also of interest to French giants PSG.
Frenkie de Jong is reportedly ready to leave Barcelona at the end of the season amid interest from Man United, Chelsea and PSG
Chelsea owner Todd Boehly has presided over an extraordinary period of spending at the club
Chelsea spent more than a quarter of a billion pounds on the signings of Moises Caicedo (left) and Enzo Fernandez (right)
Your browser does not support iframes.
He is one of Barcelona’s top earners and will receive another large instalment of wages that had been deferred from previous seasons.
Chelsea have already spent £280m in rebuilding their midfield over the last 12 months.
Their lavish sending spree began with the £107m addition of Enzo Fernandez from Benfica in January last year, quickly followed by the signing of Moises Caicedo for a club record £114m from Brighton in the summer.
Chelsea also swooped for Romeo Lavia from Southampton for £58m but the youngster has managed just 32 minutes of football this season.
Meanwhile, A summer move to United would see De Jong finally reunite with his old Ajax boss Ten Hag. The pair worked together from 2017-19, where they won the domestic double and reached a Champions League semi final in 2019.
United’s interest in De Jong persisted beyond their failed efforts in 2022 as they reiterated their desire to sign the midfielder last year. De Jong also reportedly told Ten Hag that he wanted to join the club.
Erik ten Hag is a big fan of De Jong after previously managing him when they were at Ajax
After failing to land De Jong, United spent £60m to acquire Casemiro from Real Madrid. The veteran midfielder played an integral part in the Red Devils’ squad last term as they claimed the Carabao Cup and secured a top four finish.
But this season Casemiro’s struggles for form and fitness have paved the way for his exit this summer. In December, Mail Sport revealed that he was among the players former football director John Murtough discussed with representatives of the Saudi Pro League in Riyadh.