Frenkie De Jong would be more receptive to a move to Chelsea than Manchester United if he is forced out of Barcelona, although his preference is to remain at the Camp Nou, according to Spanish media reports.
De Jong, 25, has been the subject of speculation linking him with a move to United and a reunion with former Ajax manager Erik ten Hag, with various reports claiming a deal worth an initial €65 million ($66.4m) plus €20m in add‑ons has been agreed between the two clubs.
Despite the agreement being in place for a couple of weeks, De Jong is reportedly reluctant to join United and as a result the deal has stalled.
It is being claimed that the Netherlands international views a move to United as a step in the wrong direction for his career and he is not keen to join a club not competing in the Champions League.
First and foremost, though, is De Jong's desire to remain at Barcelona. The midfielder is settled in the city and is playing for his dream club, while the deferred wages he is owed by Barca - totalling around €17m - further complicates any move.
However, according to a report from Spanish outlet Sport, De Jong would consider Chelsea as an alternative if Barcelona are determined to sell him this summer.
De Jong is reportedly aware that Barca are open to offers as the club, still struggling under the weight of massive debt, attempt to balance the books following the expensive arrivals of Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski.
Sport claims that De Jong is more attracted to Chelsea due to the club's presence in the Champions League, its sporting project under the leadership of Thomas Tuchel and the new owners, and the club being located in London.
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Speculation that Chelsea could be interested in De Jong increased earlier this month when new Chelsea owner, and interim chairman, Todd Boehly flew to Barcelona to meet with the club's representatives to discuss transfer business. It was reported that De Jong was brought up in the conversation, as were Chelsea pair Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso, who are both of interest to Barca.
An earlier report from Sport also claimed that De Jong could be tempted by Bayern Munich due to the club's stature, constant presence in the Champions League, and ability to win trophies every season. However, it is unknown whether Bayern have any interest in signing De Jong.
De Jong is currently with the Barcelona squad on their pre-season tour of the United States.