• Frenkie de Jong is contracted with Barcelona until 2026
  • He joined the La Liga club from Ajax in the summer of 2019
  • De Jong is being chased by the likes of Chelsea and Man Utd

Chelsea are reportedly in direct talks with FC Barcelona for Frenkie de Jong in the ongoing summer window.

Chelsea are 'optimistic' about securing a deal for de Jong ahead of the 2022-23 season, The Athletic reported.

Manchester United have been chasing de Jong throughout the 2022 summer window as head coach Erik ten Hag made the Dutch midfielder one of his top targets at Old Trafford. It has been reported that Manchester United and Barcelona had earlier reached an agreement that would see the Camp Nou side receive $65 million, plus $20 million add-ons for de Jong.

However, the Premier League club has been unable to reach an agreement with de Jong, who is reluctant to join them due to the lack of Champions League soccer. In addition, the Netherlands national does not want to leave Barcelona until the Catalan club clears his dues. Barcelona owe de Jong almost $20 million in deferred salary payments.

Meanwhile, Barcelona are demanding around $82 million from Chelsea for de Jong, according to Spanish outlet THE SPORT. De Jong is contracted with the Camp Nou side until 2026, giving the La Liga club leverage in the negotiations.

Frenkie de Jong, Barcelona
Frenkie de Jong waves to the crowd during an FC Barcelona training session at Accor Stadium on May 24, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Manchester United, meanwhile, have begun to look for alternatives, and Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves is one of their targets, according to Sky Sports.

If Chelsea beat the Red Devils in the race to sign de Jong, Manchester United’s senior officials such as John Murtough and Richard Arnold could receive a significant backlash. It was earlier reported that the said duo even flew down to Barcelona to personally convince de Jong to move to Manchester.

De Jong, who worked with ten Hag at Ajax, joined Barcelona in the summer of 2019. Over the last three seasons, de Jong has made 140 competitive appearances for the Catalans, scoring 13 goals and providing 17 assists. He has won just Copa del Rey, which they won in the 2020-21 season.