Manchester United and Chelsea haven’t given up hope of landing Frenkie de Jong before the end of the transfer window, according to reports.
United agreed a fee with Barcelona earlier in the summer, only for De Jong to snub their attempts to sign him.
The Dutch midfielder’s preference has always been to remain with the Spanish giants, who had seemingly accepted the player’s refusal to leave the club.
United moved for Casemiro to strengthen their midfield, and reports have claimed their summer business was at an end following the £85m capture of Ajax winger Antony and the loan signing of Martin Dubravka, who’s set to compete with David de Gea.
But Calciomercato journalist Rudy Galetti claims talks between United, Barcelona and De Jong’s agent Ali Dursun are ‘still ongoing’.
He adds that the ‘next hours will be decisive’ with the ‘situation evolving’.
And Chelsea are also reportedly hopeful of landing De Jong before Thursday’s deadline, with owner Todd Boehly said to have offered the midfielder an annual salary of £15.5m to persuade him to move to Stamford Bridge, according to Spanish journalist Gerard Romero.
That figure would match his Barcelona salary, but a deal is a long way from being completed as, even if De Jong agrees to the move, Chelsea would have to negotiate a transfer fee with the Catalans.
It looks set to be a busy end to the transfer window for Chelsea with Wesley Fofana set to complete his £75m move from Leicester, while the Blues are also negotiating over Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig and attempting to seal the return of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the Premier League.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has long since vowed to be happy with the squad at the window’s close whatever the situation, but also admitted he hopes for further additions.
“Right now I think we could need some more players in some positions, but it’s very close to the end of the transfer window and when September 1 comes, I will be a happy coach no matter what happens,” said Tuchel.
“I will try to find solutions and not think about what might have happened or what could be.
“Everything that matters is reality and at the moment (against Leicester) what mattered was finding a way to win.
“What will matter at Southampton is the same, find a way to win, step up individually and push the team from my side. This is what we will do no matter if players will come or not.”