Chelsea are closing in the signing of Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong – with the Blues willing to meet the Spanish side’s steep asking price for the midfielder.
The Dutchman has been the talk of the transfer window after strong links emerged over a potential move to the Premier League – with Manchester United and Chelsea both interested in his services.
But it seems the Blues have pipped their league rivals to de Jong’s signature – as they look to agree a deal for the player in the coming days.
According to SPORT, the London club would be in a position to exceed the €80million (£68.8million) figure which Barça are asking for the Dutch midfielder.
It’s understood there has been a lot of movement in the discussions for de Jong and the Blues are in constant contact with his agent in the hope of closing a deal soon.
The same outlet reported last week that the 25-year-old was refusing to consider a move away from the Camp Nou – a decision he’s now U-turned on.
De Jong was wanted by Manchester United and the Premier League giants agreed a £63m deal with Barcelona last month but he had no intention of joining a club that cannot offer Champions League football.
Since then, Barcelona have been trying to convince de Jong to take a reduction to his salary but the Dutchman is not agreeing to their demands.
He was given a massive two-year extension by previous Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu and is due to earn €20m (£16.8m) net this season and as much as €25m (£21m) the following campaign with £17m of deferred wages factored in.
Gerard Pique, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Clement Lenglet were all given new contracts at the same time and it’s claimed they are having similar conversations with the club.
In recent weeks, the Catalan giants have been desperate to come to an agreement over the £17million that he is owed in deferred wages.
They told De Jong that they want to rip up his current contract and revert back to the one that he signed when he first joined in 2019, as they claim that his latest deal which was handed to him by club’s former board involves ‘criminality’.
Barcelona see the selling of De Jong as the answer to the current financial constraints that are stopping them from registering new signings.
They also believe his departure will allow them to pursue a deal for Bernardo Silva from Manchester City.