Todd Boehly dines with Barcelona chief as Chelsea’s plan to sign Frenkie de Jong emerges

New Chelsea owner Todd Boehly had dinner with Barcelona supremo Joan Laporta with £63million Frenkie de Jong on the menu.

The Blues are poised to pinch the Barcelona midfielder from under the noses of Manchester United, who have been in advanced talks for his services. De Jong, 25, is desperate to stay at the Nou Camp, having described Barcelona as his “dream club”.

But with the Spanish giants confident of recouping the £63million they paid Ajax for him in 2019, he remains up for grabs. While United boss Erik ten Hag has a working relationship with De Jong from his time in Holland, Chelsea can offer the superstar Champions League football.

Boehly is keen to make a series of statement signings to make good on his promise to keep the Club World Cup champions competitive. Asked by a journalist why he was in Barcelona, Boehly smiled and replied: “We’re here for a meal.”

Chelsea have leverage as Barcelona boss Xavi is keen on Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso. They are ready to offer 32-year-old Azpilicueta a two-year deal with the option for a further year while Alonso could yet land similar terms.

Since taking over from previous owner Roman Abramovich, Boehly has taken on the role of interim sporting director. Former transfer chief Marina Granovskaia is one of a number of senior figures to leave West London this summer, along with technical and performance advisor Petr Cech.

Where will Frenkie de Jong be playing next season? Have your say in the comments section!

De Jong has been at Barcelona since 2019

De Jong has been at Barcelona since 2019
AFP via Getty Images)

The discussions over De Jong come amid an internal battle at Barcelona which has affected another big-money signing, Ousmane Dembele. French international Dembele is a free agent, five years after arriving from Borussia Dortmund, but his future hinges on the club’s pursuit of Raphinha.

Barcelona manager Xavi is keen to keep hold of the former Rennes star, who led the way in assists last season. However, with sporting director Mateu Alemany pushing for Leeds and Brazil man Raphinha, both deals have hit a wall.

Aside from the free transfer arrivals of former Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen and Ivorian international midfielder Franck Kessie, Barcelona’s summer has been relatively quiet. While there may be further exits to come, the highest-profile departure so far has seen veteran Dani Alves leave for a second time after rejoining last season on a short-term deal.

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