co-owner Todd Boehly has spoken directly with midfielder Frenkie de Jong over a potential move to Stamford Bridge, though did not get the response he was hoping for.
The 25-year-old is at the centre of the summer’s biggest transfer saga, having been chased for several months by while Chelsea have also now joined the race for his signature.
Barca are keen to cash in and get the high-earning Dutchman off their books, and cannot register some of their new signings until they have landed a big fee for De Jong.
However, the former playmaker has little desire to leave Catalonia and is happy and settled in Barcelona, having already rejected a move to Old Trafford despite United agreeing a £73million fee.
Chelsea were thought to have a better shot at convincing De Jong to swap La Liga for the Premier League, with one of the big negatives against United being their failure to qualify for the Champions League.
But the Blues will be playing in Europe’s top-flight competition this season, while a move to London is thought to appeal more to De Jong and his family than relocating to Manchester.
However, according to Spanish outlet , De Jong has once again rebuffed a move to England after speaking to Chelsea chief Boehly in recent days.
The American businessman has been operating as the club’s interim sporting director following the exit of Marina Granovskaia – and others – after Roman Abramovich sold the club.
Boehly has already been busy this summer, signing Kalidou Koulibaly, Raheem Sterling and Marc Cucurella, and was hoping to bolster Chelsea’s midfield – which Thomas Tuchel has identified as being a little on the old side – with the addition of De Jong.
He is Barca’s most sellable asset and the Catalan club gave Chelsea permission to speak to the Netherlands international, with the Blues having intimated they would match United’s bid.
While De Jong listened to Boehly’s pitch during a lengthy phone call, he reportedly reiterated that his desire is to remain at Camp Nou and fulfil his contract with Barcelona.
Despite the snub, Chelsea will continue to work on convincing De Jong to move to Stamford Bridge though there is a feeling that the deal may be too delicate and difficult to complete this summer.
The midfielder is owed around £14m in unpaid wages, having deferred his salary in the pandemic, and Barcelona expect the buying club to pay that particular bill.
Barca’s hierarchy have repeatedly urged De Jong to leave the club and on Monday reports emerged claiming the Spanish side had informed the player that they had over the extension he signed in 2020 – which was handed out by a previous regime.
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