Chelsea ‘making progress’ to agree deal for Manchester United target

The Blues are looking to strengthen their squad before the transfer window closes next month.

Chelsea are reportedly making significant progress as they look to beat Premier League rivals Manchester United to the signing of Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong.

The Holland international has been the subject of constant speculation ever since his former Ajax manager Erik ten Hag was appointed at Old Trafford earlier this summer.

Complications over a move to the 13-time Premier League champions have been caused by Barcelona’s financial crisis and De Jong’s reluctance to leave the Catalan giants.

Chelsea have been named as a possible alternative option and Spanish outlet Sport have suggested they are ‘close to agreeing a deal’ to make De Jong their sixth summer signing.

Blues boss Thomas Tuchel has already added American goalkeeper Gabriel Slolina, defenders Marc Cucurella and Kalidou Koulibaly, midfielder Carney Chukwuemeka and England star Raheem Stirling to his squad over the last six weeks.

De Jong has now moved closer to joining the Blues this summer - if reports in Spain are to be believed.

The report in Sport suggested a ‘favourable agreement’ to benefit both clubs will be reached and suggested Chelsea are able to ‘exceed the 80 million euros’ demanded by the La Liga club in order to secure a deal.

Speaking in the aftermath of Barcelona’s 6-0 win against Mexican club Pumas at the weekend, Barca manager Xavi said of De Jong’s future: “I don’t know what will happen to Frenkie as until August 31st anything can happen.

“He knows what I think and what the club want and need. Of course I’m counting on him, he’s a great player.”

Barca president Joan Laporta added: “Frenkie is our player and we want him to stay at Barcelona, he wants to stay too.

“With him and his teammates, we have a very powerful midfield. He has offers, but we want him to stay.”

However, it now looks as if an exit and a move to Chelsea is moving closer.