Later News Aug 11

Chelsea poised to pounce on Manchester United target De Jong

After weeks of putting all of their midfield eggs in the Frenkie de Jong basket, it looks like Manchester United might very well end up missing out on the omelette.


If you thought that analogy was terrible, here’s another one – imagine spending weeks trying to convince the parents of your crush to allow you to take her out. Just when it appears that her parents are about to give the green light, someone else swoops in and steals your crush’s heart instead.


That, in essence, could very well be the basis of United’s relentless – but potentially fruitless – pursuit of De Jong this summer.


WATCH: De Jong's best moments at Barcelona


After all, Chelsea have entered the race for the 25-year-old’s signature, and are reportedly willing to match the Red Devils’ £72m (S$120.5m) bid for De Jong.


The Blues have an advantage over United in that they will be able to offer Champions League football to De Jong, although all they really need to do during negotiations with the Dutch midfielder is point at pictures of Harry Maguire and Scott McTominay and ask, “Really?”


De Jong has publicly stated his desire to stay at Barcelona, largely due to the fact that they still owe him £17m in deferred wages. 


However, the Catalans are doing all they can to pressure him into settling for just £6m for his deferred wages, while also taking significant pay cut, because evidently nobody at the Nou Camp really knows how money and lawful employment in the real world works.


WATCH: De Jong responds to United rumours


But De Jong is not the only Barcelona player that Chelsea are eyeing. Striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang might also take the road once travelled by Cesc Fabregas, and become only the second ex-Arsenal captain to sign for the Stamford Bridge outfit via a pit-stop at Barcelona.


The Gabonese, who has three years left on his contract at Barcelona, only joined the Spanish side on a free transfer six months ago, but is now surplus to requirements following the recruitment of Robert Lewandowski.


Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is understood to be open to the idea of working with his former Borussia Dortmund protégé, especially as his side currently do not have a bona fide striker, following the departures of the doddering duo, Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku.


WATCH: Aubameyang is Barcelona's new no. 17


United, meanwhile, have begun working on a deal for out-of-favour Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot, who is understood to be keen on filling the role of ‘inconsistent, mercurial French midfielder who refuses to track back’ that Paul Pogba left behind at Old Trafford.




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