Chelsea have made an offer to FC Barcelona for their midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
The Dutchman has been the top transfer target of Chelsea’s domestic rivals Manchester United, who despite having a proposal accepted by the Catalans were unable to convince the 25-year-old of their sporting project due to its lack of Champions League football.
This week, it was reported that Chelsea entered the race for the playmaker. And though some outlets claimed that the west Londoners would try and save themselves the embarrassment United suffered by first speaking to the player and persuading him to switch allegiances before putting money on the table, SPORT say on Saturday that an offer has already been put together.
This entails Chelsea paying around €70mn ($71.3mn) for De Jong but also offering their left back Marcos Alonso, who Barca have been after for some time, as part of a part-exchange deal.
For Barca, this potential sale would represent a profit of sorts on the €75mn ($76.4mn) they paid Ajax for his services in 2019.
In the event that De Jong doesn’t want to move to the English capital, though, after having recently bought a €5mn ($5.1mn) mansion in Barcelona with his fiancee, Chelsea are apparently willing to sell Alonso to the Blaugrana for under €10mn ($10.2mn).
SPORT say that this weekend has been set aside to put the De Jong operation in motion, though Chelsea confess it will be difficult to convince De Jong to have a change of heart and mind given his intent on staying round to see the potential fruits of Barca coach Xavi Hernandez’s work at Camp Nou.
Yet given the news on Friday night that La Liga will still not allow Barca to register their new players including former Chelsea targets Raphinha, Jules Kounde and Robert Lewandowski, plus their ex-defender Andreas Christensen, the club needs De Jong to leave post haste with the clock ticking until their season opener against Rayo Vallecano on August 13.
According to reports from England, De Jong is in conflict with his agents, who are pushing him to go to England or not to accept the pay cut that Barca need him to take if he wants to continue partnering Pedri in midfield next term.