Potential for Frenkie de Jong Chelsea Move Amid Manchester United Interest

Frenkie de Jong

Chelsea have an interest in hijacking Manchester United‘s move for Frenkie de Jong, according to a report by Liam Twomey and Simon Johnson for The Athletic. In spite of De Jong’s interest in staying at Barcelona, Barca have an interest in moving the Dutchman on to register some of their newer signings.

Chelsea Have an Interest in Frenkie de Jong

Why Do Chelsea Want This Move?

Chelsea have an active interest in building their squad before the start of the season. Having allowed Romelu Lukaku, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen to leave the club in the summer to bring in Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly, the club runs the risk of going into the season relatively shorthanded. De Jong is an ideal candidate for adding some squad depth.

The window so far has been relatively disappointing for Chelsea. The Blues’ pursuit of Raphinha resulted in Leeds United making a record sale to Barcelona, Barcelona has an interest in taking more of Chelsea’s defenders including veteran Cesar Azpilicueta and manager Thomas Tuchel lamented in a press conference after a 4-0 friendly match against Arsenal that: “They had… a level of mental commitment that we lacked because we have a lot of players who are thinking about leaving”.  The manager sees a clear need for a change in the squad, and it sees De Jong as an ideal opportunity.

Is De Jong Right for Chelsea?

Frenkie de Jong has expressed that he wants to stay at the Nou Camp, which makes Chelsea’s drive for the player more difficult. In spite of this, Barcelona are looking for a way to drive the player out of the club, using the funds they gain from the transfer to register some of their newest squad members. The Catalonian side has brought in a raft of talent, and with De Jong’s wages and transfer fee one way of freeing up money, Todd Boehly will have no issue getting an agreement from the club.

In terms of position, Chelsea’s interest in De Jong is interesting. The Dutchman is more of an attacking midfielder, with passing and goalscoring stats that place him in Europe’s elite, whilst lacking in the more defensive areas of the pitch. As a side currently lacking centre-backs with other defenders considering a way out of the club, an attacking midfielder is an odd choice for investment. This also risks Conor Gallagher’s future. Bringing in an attacking midfielder risks displacing the England international, who will want minutes in a World Cup year.

How Can Chelsea Do the deal?

Manchester United’s existing agreement with Barcelona stands at a package worth just over £70 million. Whilst Chelsea have the funds for this, such high spending isn’t a necessity.  In addition to paying Barcelona a fee, Chelsea can leverage the interest in players such as Cesar Azpilicueta as a means of getting the player for less. Equally important to retaining Azpilicueta is making new defensive signings, and having funds available for Wesley Fofana and Denzel Dumfries’ moves is ideal if the club is looking to invest wisely in this window.