The fight between Chelsea and Manchester United for Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong has been ongoing for weeks now, despite the midfielder showing little (if any) interest in either side to this point.
During their 2022/2023 season opener, Manchester United seemed out of sorts, especially within the midfield, and the Red Devils are likely done with the De Jong wait.
The Athletic reports that United are going for Marko Arnautovic on loan, in addition to Juventus’ Adrien Rabiot, whom Chelsea boss Tuchel previously favored.
Though it states that the Manchester side’s higher-ups are still at a crossroads on whether to bid for Rabiot or await the results of De Jong’s chase, it’s probably only a matter of time before they offer up on Barca’s man given their desperation for a midfielder right away.
If these reports are anywhere near true, the Blues can now breathe barely easier because United won’t be as targeting the Barcelona interest as they’ve been for weeks.
There’s one other hurdle following Barcelona President, Laporta’s hesitation in releasing Frenkie and the latter’s disinterest in a Barcelona exit, though.
“He has offers, but we wish him to remain”, Laporta reportedly said. If this statement has nothing to do with Barcelona’s alleged inability to clear the tens of millions they owe Frenkie in deferred wages, then Chelsea’s pursuit won’t get any smoother even with United’s absence.
Barca had agreed to a deal earlier though, meaning Tuchel’s side has a probability in the event that they make an irresistible offer.