CHELSEA are hoping to poach Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong from under Manchester United’s noses, according to reports.
The Blues are planning to launch a bid worth £70million to prize him away from the Nou Camp.
De Jong, 25, wants to stay at Barca but could be forced out due to the club’s financial situation.
Reports suggest that club president Joan Laporta and manager Xavi see selling the midfielder as one of the ways to solve their off-field problems.
Barcelona may not be able to sign players this summer with LaLiga effectively putting a transfer ban on them until they can balance the books.
The league’s chief Javier Tebas has publicly called for the club to reduce their spending and suggested they may have to make cuts of £178million.
He said: “They have to reduce their investment in players and we have encouraged them to sell players because for every amount they raise in sales they can spend 40 per cent of that.”
Man Utd and Chelsea were both in the hunt for De Jong last summer.
The Red Devils saw multiple bids fail in landing him and he the player expressed his desire to fight for his place at the club.
United boss Erik ten Hag worked with De Jong at Ajax and he is again thought to be interested in going back in for him at the end of the season.
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The Dutchman is keen to build his team around the midfield pairing of his compatriot and Casemiro.
Meanwhile, Chelsea also had a £67.6m bid knocked back prior to the start of the season.
And despite spending £106m on Enzo Fernandez in January, their interest in De Jong is not over.