Rumour Has It: Chelsea to offer package of players, cash and Champions League for Frenkie de Jong

By Sports Desk July 08, 2022

Chelsea are looking to swoop in and scoop up Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, who has been Manchester United's primary midfield target since the appointment of new boss Erik ten Hag.

De Jong, 25, has 44 international caps for the Netherlands, and has spent the past three seasons with the Spanish giants.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has been adamant the club does not want to part ways with the star they paid €75million for back in 2019, but the club's financial position may force their hand.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA LOOK TO STEAL UNITED TARGET WITH CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ALLURE

De Jong is reportedly been hesitant about a move to United due to the fact that they could not offer Champions League football, and that is where Chelsea will have their advantage in negotiations.

The Metro is reporting the Stamford Bridge club are preparing an offer that will include both players and cash, with €60million as well as Spanish duo Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso said to be on the table.

The elephant in the room regarding a De Jong move is that Barcelona reportedly owe the Dutchman £17m in deferred wages, and the Daily Mail claims he wants the balance fully paid before he signs off on any transfer.

 

ROUND-UP

United have been told they will need to pay £106m in order to secure the signings of Ajax duo Lisandro Martinez and Antony, according to the Daily Record.

– According to i Sport, Chelsea are working on a new contract extension for Reece James, despite three years still remaining on his current deal, in an effort to fend off interest from Manchester City and Real Madrid.

– The Daily Mail is reporting Wolves will send 19-year-old Fabio Silva on a season-long loan to Anderlecht after purchasing him for £35m two years ago.

– The Mirror claims Leeds United are preparing a club-record offer of £32m for 21-year-old Club Brugge midfielder Charles De Ketelaere, who already has eight senior international caps for Belgium.

– According to Fabrizio Romano, the likely departure of Raheem Sterling has put City in a position to offer Riyad Mahrez a contract extension.

Related items

  • Sir Jim Ratcliffe outlines plans for success and glamour at Manchester United Sir Jim Ratcliffe outlines plans for success and glamour at Manchester United

    Manchester United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe has set out his vision for bringing some of the Eric Cantona glamour and swagger back to Old Trafford.

    The 71-year-old Ineos founder and chairman wants the club he has supported since the age of six to be seriously challenging their “noisy” north-west neighbours Manchester City and Liverpool for domestic and European titles within three seasons, and “knock them both off their perch”.

    In a wide-ranging briefing, Ratcliffe also:

    :: Outlined his hope to either redevelop Old Trafford at a cost of around £1billion, or build a new £2billion stadium with state support that could host England matches, FA Cup finals and Champions League finals.

    :: Admitted Dan Ashworth would be “a very good addition” to the Manchester United leadership as sporting director and said it would be “absurd” if he remained on gardening leave after his departure from Newcastle.

    :: Pledged that a fresh decision would be taken on Mason Greenwood’s future.

    :: Joked about whether Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim, his long-time rival for full control of United, even existed.

    Ratcliffe, who by the end of the year will hold a 28.9 per cent stake in United and whose Ineos company now controls football operations at Old Trafford, conducted the interview with a bust wearing a United number seven shirt stationed behind him, collar turned up in the fashion of the club’s hero of the 1990s Eric Cantona.

    “(Cantona) was the catalyst for change in Sir Alex Ferguson’s era … and then that sort of kickstarted everything off. He was the sort of talisman,” Ratcliffe said.

    “There has always been a bit of glamour attached to Manchester United which has been lacking a bit in the last few years. You’ve had George Best, Bobby Charlton, Eric the King for a while.

    “At the end of the day we are in the entertainment business. So that’s why you don’t want to watch bland football or characterless football.

    “And to be honest, since Christmas, with the young lads, they have played some fantastic football.

    “There have been some great matches. I can’t remember many matches at the beginning of the season I was really excited by but since Christmas we have played some really good football and there has been a bit of glamour attached to some of these footballers on the pitch, and we have really enjoyed it.

    “The three young lads (Rasmus Hojlund, Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo) sitting on the hoarding at the side – that was a good picture. So I think that’s the ‘Eric’ point really. We are cognizant of the fact you do need a bit of glamour in this.”

    Ratcliffe says improving the club’s record on recruitment is “top of the list” of things to get right, and publicly stated his club’s interest in Dan Ashworth, who has been placed on gardening leave by Newcastle after expressing his desire to leave the Tyneside club.

    “I think it’d be a very good addition to Manchester United, but he (Ashworth) needs to decide whether he’s going to make that jump,” Ratcliffe said.

    “We’ve obviously had words with Newcastle. They clearly would be disappointed to lose Dan. I understand why they would be disappointed to lose Dan but but then you can’t equally criticise Dan because it is a transient industry.

    “So we’ll have to see how it unfolds.”

    Ratcliffe said it would be “a bit silly” if it took £20million to secure Ashworth’s services, and added: “What I do think is completely absurd is suggesting that a man who’s really good at his job, sits in his garden for one and a half years.”

    Also key to the transformation as Ratcliffe sees it is a redeveloped Old Trafford or a new stadium built partially with state support.

    Ratcliffe said a taskforce would be set up to look at the feasibility of the latter option and agreed former Manchester United defender Gary Neville would be an “obvious” person to include on it.

    Ratcliffe sees no issue with one of the world’s richest clubs in United seeking state support for such a project.

    “The people in the north pay their taxes like the people in the south pay their taxes,” he said.

    “But where’s the national stadium for football? It’s in the south. Where’s the national stadium for rugby? It’s in the south. Where’s the national stadium for tennis? It’s in the south. Where’s the national concert stadium? It’s the O2, it’s in the south. Where’s the Olympic Village? It’s in the south.

    “All of this talk about levelling up and the Northern Powerhouse… where is the stadium in the north? How many Champions Leagues has the north-west won and how many Champions Leagues has London won? The answer to that is the north-west has won 10 – Liverpool have won more than us – and London has won two.

    “Where do you have to go if you get to the semi-final of the FA Cup and you’re a northern club? You have to schlep down to London, don’t you?

    “People in the north pay their taxes and there is an argument that you could think about a more ambitious project in the north which would be fitting for England, for the Champions League final or the FA Cup final and act as a catalyst to regenerate southern Manchester, which has got quite significant history in the UK.”

  • Victor Osimhen earns Napoli Champions League first-leg draw with Barcelona Victor Osimhen earns Napoli Champions League first-leg draw with Barcelona

    Victor Osimhen rescued Napoli a 1-1 home draw against Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie in his first appearance for the Italian club since December.

    Osimhen, who had served a ban in Napoli’s previous game after returning from Africa Cup of Nations duty for runners-up Nigeria, stole clear in the penalty area with 15 minutes remaining to fire home an equaliser.

    Barcelona had taken a deserved lead on the hour-mark through Robert Lewandowski’s 93rd Champions League goal.

    It was Napoli’s first game since they sacked head coach Walter Mazzarri after three months in charge and replaced him with Slovakian Francesco Calzona.

    Porto winger Galeno’s stunning stoppage-time winner clinched his side a 1-0 win against Arsenal in the first leg of their tie.

    Arsenal looked set to return to London all-square after a cagey tactical battle at Estadio do Dragao, but Brazilian Galeno crashed home a shot from outside the box in the fourth minute of added time.

    The Gunners, bidding to reach the tournament’s last eight for the first time since 2010, created few chances, while Galeno struck a post with a close-range effort in the first half.

    Kai Havertz had Arsenal’s best two chances late in the first half, firing off target from six yards before heading Bukayo Saka’s corner just wide.

    The two sides will meet in the return leg at the Emirates Stadium on March 12.

  • Victor Osimhen strikes late to earn Napoli draw at home to Barcelona Victor Osimhen strikes late to earn Napoli draw at home to Barcelona

    Victor Osimhen snatched an unlikely 1-1 draw for Napoli in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Barcelona.

    The Nigeria striker cancelled out a trademark Robert Lewandowski strike as a low-quality tie ended all square.

    The champions of Italy met the champions of Spain in what should have been the glamour tie of the round at Napoli’s Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

    The Argentinian’s name is synonymous with glory days at both clubs but now both are struggling to recapture last season’s title-winning successes.

    Napoli, a lowly ninth in Serie A, sacked Walter Mazzarri on Monday with Francesco Calzona replacing him as their third manager of the season.

    The Slovakia coach, appointed on an interim basis, had just 48 hours to try to inject some life into their dismal campaign.

    Meanwhile, Barca boss Xavi – whose side lie eight points behind rivals Real Madrid in La Liga – announced last month he would be leaving at the end of the campaign.

    Two sides bereft of confidence locked horns with Barca, without Gavi, Ferran Torres, Marcos Alonso and Sergi Roberto through injury, dominating the first half but lacking any real goal threat.

    Lamine Yamal, their 16-year-old sensation, brought the first save from Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret with a fierce drive from the edge of the area.

    Lewandowski’s first chance came from Ilkay Gundogan’s through-ball but his flicked finish was blocked by Meret.

    The Napoli defence then opened up invitingly for Gundogan, whose dipping effort was also beaten away by Meret.

    For Napoli, Osimhen was playing his first match since before Christmas but he looked isolated up front as the hosts finished the first half without a single effort on goal.

    That sorry stat at least changed at the start of the second half when Matteo Politano planted an early header wide.

    Gundogan should have done better with Yamal’s cut-back to the edge of the box but his side-footed effort was easily dealt with by Meret.

    But Lewandowski broke the deadlock on the hour when Pedri played the ball into his feet.

    Lewandowski expertly turned and fired low between two defenders and beyond the dive of Meret.

    It was the Poland international’s 93rd Champions League goal, although he had not scored in his last four appearances in the competition.

    But Barca had only kept one clean sheet in their previous nine matches and a blunt Napoli attack finally woke up in the 75th minute.

    Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa drove the ball forward and Osimhen rolled Inigo Martinez, who claimed he was fouled, before tucking the ball past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

    Both sides could have grabbed a winner but Napoli substitute Giovanni Simeone blazed over before Gundogan fired inches wide in stoppage time.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.