Chelsea’s chances of signing Frenkie de Jong ahead of Manchester United have received a major boost, according to reports.
De Jong has been United (opens in new tab)‘s top transfer target since the start of the summer, but the club have found it difficult to get a deal over the line.
Barcelona (opens in new tab) are open to selling the midfielder in order to balance the books following their purchases of Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski.
But De Jong is keen to stay at the Camp Nou, where he feels he has unfinished business after just three years at the club.
Barcelona also owe him around £17m in deferred salary payments, and De Jong is wary of departing before he gets his money.
Despite the complicated nature of the transfer saga, United have not walked away from a deal.
They continue to hold talks with Barcelona in the hope of making a breakthrough – but their chances of doing so have taken a major hit.
According to Sport (opens in new tab), the Spanish publication, De Jong has two major reservations about a switch to United.
The first is that the former Ajax (opens in new tab) star does not want to live in Manchester.
Secondly, he is unconvinced by the way United are run, with the club showing few signs of an overarching philosophy.
De Jong is not particularly attracted to the Premier League, which he feels would not suit his style of play.
But if he has to leave Barcelona and England is the only option, the report states that the 25-year-old would prefer to join Chelsea (opens in new tab).
De Jong is said to have more confidence in the way the Blues are run, while the fact Thomas Tuchel’s side are in the Champions League is another advantage.
He would also be open to the idea of living in London, but it is not yet clear if Chelsea will follow up their vague interest with a bid.
Tuchel is currently focused on strengthening his defence, with Jules Kounde expected to sign for the club in the coming days.