Frenkie de Jong to Chelsea would be "horrific" for Manchester United, says Gary Neville
The Red Devils have been chasing the Barcelona midfielder throughout the summer transfer window with Ten Hag seeing his former Ajax charge as the fulcrum to his Old Trafford rebuild.
Despite Barcelona’s well-documented desire to get De Jong off their wage books, the 25-year-old has so far dug his heels in and resisted a reunion with Ten Hag.
United have an agreement for a transfer with Barcelona worth £63 million up front and £8.5 million in add-ons, The Athletic report.
However, the Netherlands international isn’t set on a move to the Theatre of Dreams and is reluctant to give up Champions League football.
The midfield maestro is owed £17 million by the Catalan giants having deferred his wages during the pandemic, and a settlement on that fee continues to rumble on behind the scenes.
Frenkie de Jong to Chelsea would be “horrific” for Manchester United, says Gary Neville
No day is the same in the De Jong saga and there has been contrasting views on Manchester United’s pursuit of the classy ball-playing midfielder that Ten Hag’s side so badly need.
CBS Sports reporter Ben Jacobs has claimed that while Chelsea pursue the 44-time Netherlands international, the Red Devils “have all but given up” on signing Ten Hag’s priority signing.
However, Dutch football expert Marcel Van Der Kraan claims De Jong remains Ten Hag’s “number one priority” and the Reds “aren’t giving up”. He also claimed that the Reds already have an agreement in place with De Jong’s agent Ali Dursun.
Former United right-back Neville feels that De Jong moving to Premier League rivals Chelsea would be the worst of three current possible scenarios.
Neville said: “If they don’t get him [De Jong], it’s embarrassing because of the relationship the player has with the manager.
“If he doesn’t want to come the relationship the player has with the manager would mean they’d have switched off from it a few weeks ago – there must have been communication from the player to the manager saying wait for me I’m coming.
“There’s three outcomes: one he comes and Manchester United look smart and patient, the second is he stays at Barcelona and there is a touch of embarrassment because they put all their eggs in one basket.
“The third one, it just does not contemplate thinking about he goes to a rival club in the Premier League against the manager he previously worked with. If he goes to Chelsea it’s horrific.”
While the De Jong saga continues to rumble on, Manchester United are hoping to sign Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot.
De Jong won the Eredivisie and Dutch Cup under Ten Hag, as well reaching the Champions League semi-finals together before moving to the Nou Camp for £65m.