Frenkie de Jong odds slashed as Chelsea move limps ever closer

Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong's thoroughly tedious summer transfer saga has taken a new twist with Chelsea joining Manchester United in the bun fight, and it has spooked the bookies.

The 25-year-old Dutch international has been top of Manchester United's shopping list all summer, but he appears reluctant to make a switch to the Premier League, especially as Barcelona reportedly owe him some deferred wages.

According to reports in the Spanish media, Chelsea are now attempting to hijack United's chase of de Jong, which has been rumbling on since Erik ten Hag arrived at the club but has made little progress.

Chelsea entered the race for the Dutchman earlier this week and are said to be willing to send defensive pair Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta to Catalonia in part-exchange for De Jong.

Chelsea would appear to be a more appealing prospect as they have Champions League football and could mount a title challenge, while Manchester United have a midfield that would struggle in the Championship.

As a result of this latest twist bookies have slashed De Jong's odds in joining Chelsea to 5/4, while Manchester United are now out to 2/1.

De Jong's chances of staying put at Barcelona are of similar market price at 9/4.

If you fancy a longshot you can get 25/1 on Bayern Munich, and 50/1 for Liverpool and Arsenal, which would really be a kick in a teeth to Manchester United in the unlikely event he ended up at either club.

The 25-year-old midfielder arrived at the Camp Nou in 2019 from Ajax, for a reported fee of £63million, and he could be brought to England for a fee of £70million.

Barcelona want De Jong to stay put and president Joan Laporta recently told CBS Sports: "In football, you never know. I can't say categorically. It all depends on the different parties.

"But in principle, I can say there is a strong possibility he stays, and I can say as president I will do my best for him to stay at Barcelona.

"We want Frenkie to stay at Barcelona. We love the player and him as a human being. I want him to stay at Barcelona.

"He's a high-quality player and a good guy. I also know that he wants to stay."

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