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 so far.
During their 2022/2023 season opener, Manchester United seemed out of sorts, especially in 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, as well as 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 result of De Jong’s chase, it’s probably just a matter of time before they give up on Barca’s man given their desperation for a midfielder right now.
If these reports are anywhere near true, the Blues can now breathe slightly easier because United won’t be as concentrated on the Barcelona interest as they have been for weeks.
There’s another 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 want him to stay”, Laporta reportedly said. If this statement has nothing to do with Barcelona’s alleged inability to clear the 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 chance if they make an irresistible offer.