Chelsea: £68m star ‘open to joining’ Tuchel at Stamford Bridge | OneFootball

Chelsea: £68m star ‘open to joining’ Tuchel at Stamford Bridge

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Chelsea target Frenkie de Jong is ‘open to joining’ the club despite wanting to stay at Barcelona, according to journalist Simon Phillips.

The 25-year-old’s future remains firmly up in the air despite weeks of speculation with both the Blues and Manchester United eager to prise him away from Camp Nou this summer.

What is the latest news involving De Jong?

David Ornstein of The Athletic reported last month that United had a £68 million bid accepted by Barcelona for De Jong, although they have so far been unable to secure the player’s signature.

The Netherlands international has openly expressed his desire to stay put, labelling the Blaugrana his ‘dream club’, while he is also owed £17m in deferred wages, complicating the deal.

Ornstein then revealed that Chelsea had entered the race for De Jong and were ‘optimistic of striking a deal’ with Barcelona for the technician.

However, the chaotic transfer saga took another eventful turn when it was disclosed that Barca’s hierarchy have told De Jong they want to annul his existing contract and return to the deal he was on before.

The Catalan giants reportedly allege the terms given to him by the club’s previous board ‘involved criminality and provide grounds for legal action’ against those involved.

What has Phillips said about De Jong?

When asked if De Jong’s preference to stay at Barcelona would deter Chelsea in their pursuit, Phillips stated that he doesn’t believe it will as he hasn’t shut down a move to west London.

In an interview with GiveMeSport, he said: “I don’t think it will, not on this occasion because he hasn’t said no to Chelsea, he hasn’t shut it down.

“His people have been open in conversations, and they’re getting a feeling that even though his ideal scenario is to stay at Barcelona, he is also open to joining Chelsea.”

Do Chelsea need De Jong?

Under Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea have almost exclusively lined up in a 3-4-3 formation, with only two central midfielders included in the starting XI.

Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Conor Gallagher and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are all currently vying for a place in the engine room, meaning at least one of those players would surely have to depart to make way for De Jong.

The contracts of Jorginho and Kante are set to expire in 12 months’ time, though, meaning one of the experienced duo could be sacrificed by Tuchel.

Only time will tell if Chelsea are able to convince De Jong to make the switch, stealing him from under United’s nose in the process.

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