Barcelona ‘speed up Chelsea transfer talks for Frenkie de Jong’ after huge salary request

De Jong quizzed on Man Utd transfer links in June

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Barcelona have opted to speed up negotiations with Chelsea so they can then reach an agreement with Frenkie de Jong, according to reports. The Catalan giants have supposedly told the 25-year-old he must accept a 50 per cent deduction in wages if he’s to stay at the Nou Camp. And Manchester United are still hoping to land the midfielder, too, as they eye late reinforcements.

Barcelona put De Jong on the market at the start of the summer transfer window.

And though Manchester United have long been frontrunners for the 25-year-old, Chelsea have emerged as rival suitors in recent days with Thomas Tuchel keen to bolster his midfield.

Now, according to Sport, Barcelona have accelerated negotiations with Chelsea about a potential move to Stamford Bridge.

It’s said they want the Blues to reach an agreement with the midfielder himself so that, if worst comes to the worst, they can cut him loose.

Barcelona have also proposed De Jong slash his wages in half, too.

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The midfielder is believed to earn around £360,000-a-week in Catalonia, having penned a lucrative deal upon joining from Ajax back in the summer transfer window of 2019.

And Barcelona want De Jong to accept a pay cut so they can register new signings such as Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Jules Kounde, Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie.

De Jong, for his part, has shown no willingness to do that.

And it looks increasingly like the Netherlands international will be forced to leave the club, with Barcelona in need of the funds from any potential sale.

Both club president Joan Laporta and manager Xavi have told De Jong that, in an ideal world, they’d like to keep him.

But they’re also imploring the former Ajax star to accept a salary deduction so he can continue at the Nou Camp.

De Jong could even choose to stay at Barcelona on his current wage because, from a legal perspective, he’s entitled to do that.

Yet it would be a decision that would risk his relationship with both the hierarchy and the club’s supporters, with some fans bombarding him with abuse as he arrived on Wednesday.

Chelsea now seem to be frontrunners in the race to land De Jong, with the Blues able to offer the midfielder Champions League football.

They finished third in the Premier League table last term, while United ended up sixth after toiling under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.

Speaking recently, meanwhile, former Aston Villa star Gabriel Agbonlahor claimed Chelsea would be a better fit for De Jong – instead of United.

He said on talkSPORT: “I’ve been talking about Manchester United not being as much of a pull for a while now and their fans don’t like it. They can’t handle the straight facts.

“De Jong, if he’s leaving Barcelona, he does not want to go to Manchester United. There are quotes that have come out that he would rather Bayern Munich, he would rather Chelsea.

“Because if I’m choosing a team in the Premier League and I’ve got the chance of Chelsea or Manchester United, I’m choosing Chelsea.

“I’m in London, I’ve got Thomas Tuchel who’s won the Champions League recently, you’re playing Champions League football this season, you’ve got a better squad of players.

“Manchester United have got [Cristiano] Ronaldo who doesn’t want to be there, he’s not turned up for pre-season.

“You’ve got players that aren’t performing. You’ve lost top players like [Paul] Pogba.

“They’ve got problems and it’s going to take them a while to get a chance of winning the Premier League or the Champions League.

“Does De Jong want to go from Barcelona, who will be playing Champions League football, to Manchester United, who aren’t going to be?”

De Jong has won just one trophy at Barcelona so far. He was part of the team that lifted the Copa del Rey under Ronald Koeman in 2021.

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