BREAKING: Barcelona in for big Chelsea free January transfer amid De Jong decision after champions league exit.
During Todd Boehly’s first summer transfer window, Chelsea and Barcelona squared off against one another, and the upcoming summer looks to be no different.
The Catalan giants beat the Blues to the acquisition of Jules Kounde and Raphinha, while Andreas Christensen and Marcos Alonso moved to Camp Nou for free from Stamford Bridge. Cesar Azpilicueta, the club captain, had been strongly connected with a transfer to Barca, but Chelsea were able to persuade the Spaniard to sign a contract extension and put an end to rumors about a prospective move back to Spain.
To bolster the Blues’ midfield, Boehly was interested in signing Frenkie de Jong of Barcelona, but the Dutch star refused to go because of an ongoing pay dispute with the La Liga team.
The Stamford Bridge contracts of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho expire in the summer of 2019, which might reignite the transfer market rivalry between Barcelona and Chelsea.
The World Cup winner appears destined to leave west London after seven years, as negotiations between Chelsea and Kante over a contract extension have not advanced.
For a fee of £32 million, the French midfielder moved to the Blues from Leicester in 2016. Since then, he has been a revelation at the center of Chelsea’s team, winning the Premier League, FA Cup, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup.
Kante is reportedly a target for Barcelona, according to a report from L’Équipe, with the Catalans’ director of football Mateu Alemany saying the team is aiming to make free additions for next year’s summer transfer window. Due to their continuous financial problems and the disappointment of being eliminated from the Champions League in the group stage, Barca is prioritizing the identification of potential free agents who are likely to accept their new wage structure.
After aggravating a hamstring injury he sustained against Tottenham in August, Kante is expected to miss France’s World Cup campaign starting next month. Although his departure could open the door for the Blues to make another approach for De Jong, it appears increasingly probable that the 31-year-old will leave Stamford Bridge next summer.
Due to Xavi Hernandez’s preference for starting Franck Kessie, Pablo Gavi, and Pedri ahead of the former Ajax player, the Dutch midfielder has only played the full 90 minutes on six occasions thus far this season. Kessie, Christensen, Alonso, and Hector Bellerin were all signed by Barcelona last summer on free transfers; they may do the same with Kante the next summer.
Given that Chelsea is prepared to resume transfer negotiations, De Jong’s displeasure with the club may lead him to concede that he may not prevail in his salary dispute and instead search for a fresh start in the Premier League.