Chelsea owner Todd Boehly has landed in Barcelona in a reported attempt to hijack Manchester United’s bid to sign Frenkie de Jong.
The Red Devils have been pursuing the Dutchman as their main target this summer and appeared to be closing in on a move. Reports claimed Erik ten Hag’s side had struck a £56million deal in principle to sign De Jong last week, with the manager keen to be reunited with his former player at Old Trafford.
But Blues owner Boehly has now been snapped arriving at a Barcelona restaurant to talk to bosses of the Catalan club supposedly in an attempt to hijack any potential deal for the 25-year-old midfielder.
READ MORE: Erik ten Hag furious after Frenkie de Jong's Man Utd transfer aborted by Barcelona
The Mirror claims the billionaire headed to a restaurant in the Spanish city on Thursday to meet Barcelona president Joan Laporta. Also present were club chiefs Jordi Cruyff and Mateu Aleman.
When asked by a journalist why he was in the city, Boehly played coy and replied: “We’re here for a meal.”
Talk of a potential transfer for De Jong comes despite Laporta being adamant that the Dutchman was not for sale and would remain at the club just a day earlier.
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He said: “Frenkie is not for sale. He is a Barcelona player. There are offers but that's not the case [that he is leaving]. We don't want to sell."
It is understood Chelsea have the upper hand in the race to sign De Jong due to the London club having Champions League football next season. The ex-Ajax man is reportedly keen to play in Europe’s elite competition, which may end up trumping his desire to be reunited with Ten Hag.
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