Chelsea’s major Frenkie de Jong obstacle as Manchester United pull out of £71m transfer

Chelsea’s major Frenkie de Jong obstacle as Manchester United pull out of £71m transfer

Manchester United may have pulled out of the race to sign Frenkie de Jong, but Chelsea still face an obstacle that has been there since the start of their pursuit

Chelsea remain confident they can agree a fee with Barcelona for Frenkie de Jong, understands. The Blues are hopeful they can reach a deal with Barca for under the £71million fee Manchester United agreed with the La Liga club earlier in the summer.

De Jong has been linked with a move away from Barca all summer-long, but the Netherlands international is owed money by his current employers. As it stands, De Jong has given no indication that he wants to move away from the Nou Camp.

Man United have now switched their attention to Adrien Rabiot of Juventus, with The Athletic recently reporting that Erik ten Hag is working on a deal to sign the France international this summer. United pulling out of the race to sign De Jong may seem like a boost for Chelsea, but in reality, the Manchester club were never really seen as too much of an issue.

Chelsea have been in talks with Barca and De Jong for the past week. Blues officials have been trying to persuade the midfielder’s entourage to make the big-money switch to Stamford Bridge, but so far, that has not worked.

Barcelona boss Xavi has been asked plenty about De Jong’s future throughout the summer, but he has always been unsure whether the Dutchman will be his player beyond the transfer window. Recently, he said: “I don’t know what will happen to Frenkie as until August 31, anything can happen.

“He knows what I think and what the club want and need. Of course I am counting on him, he is a great player.”

Meanwhile, Barca president Joan Laporta recently said this: “Frenkie is our player and we want him to stay at Barcelona, he wants to stay too. With him and his team-mates, we have a very powerful midfield. He has offers, but we want him to stay.”

Despite these comments from Laporta, Barcelona seem more than open to sell for the right price. Chelsea’s biggest obstacle – as it has been since the beginning of negotiations – is persuading De Jong himself to move to Stamford Bridge.

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