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Chelsea seek cheaper Frenkie de Jong transfer fee as club negotiates Barcelona and Wesley Fofana deals

Chelsea seek cheaper Frenkie de Jong transfer fee as club negotiates Barcelona and Wesley Fofana deals

The Netherlands international is thought to prefer to stay in Spain and has so far rejected the move to Manchester, but it is hoped he could be more open to a move to London to play Champions League football.

However, the Blues have so far focused mainly on leveraging their relationship with Barcelona, who want their midfielder to leave to finance a move for Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva. Blues co-owner Todd Boehly has negotiated directly with Barcelona president Joan Laporta, so far cutting out De Jong’s representatives from talks.

Chelsea hope that when they agree a deal the 25-year-old will be open to a move to London through Thomas Tuchel, who wants to add the midfielder to his squad.

The finances remain complicated, with Barca owing De Jong around £17m in deferred wages. They are also pressuring him to reduce his contract if he is to stay, but the midfielder has so far denied his club’s requests.

The Blues have also been offered Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Memphis Depay, as the Catalans work to reduce their wage bill. Juventus are in advanced talks to sign Depay, which could mean Aubameyang ends up staying at the Camp Nou.

It would be a blow to Chelsea, who were lining up a double approach for De Jong and Aubameyang, alongside their ongoing talks around Leicester defender Wesley Fofana.

Fofana, 21, remains the Blues’ primary target, with Tuchel keen to add a young and fast defender to his squad at almost any cost. Leicester are holding out for a world-record fee for a defender, but Chelsea hope to complete a deal for less than the £80m paid by United for Harry Maguire in 2019.

Wesley Fofana remains a target for Chelsea

/ Getty Images

Two bids up to £70m have been rejected so far, with co-owners Boehly and Behdad Eghbali still locked in talks with the Foxes.

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers will expect his defender to line up against Arsenal at the weekend, despite knowing that Fofana’s head has been turned.

The Blues could look to do further business, with Inter Milan’s Denzel Dumfries and Southampton’s Kyle Walker-Peters among their targets.

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