Frenkie de Jong signing for Chelsea would be “horrific” for Erik ten Hag’s 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.

Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

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 Theater 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

Photo by VI Images via Getty Images

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 are pursuing the 44-time Netherlands international, the Red Devils “have all but given up” on signing Ten Hag’s priority signing.

Big week as Chelsea pursue Frenkie de Jong and Wesley Fofana. Clarity on FDJ future expected within the next 48 hours. FDJ still doesn’t want to take a pay cut opening the door to #CFC. #MUFC have all but given up.

— Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) August 10, 2022

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.

🗣 “It’s not close but he’s definitely on their target list.”

Marcel Van Der Kraan reflects on the latest of Cody Gakpo to Manchester United, with Frenkie de Jong still being linked with the club

— Football Daily (@footballdaily) August 10, 2022

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.

Passionate football fan that completed an NCTJ-accredited Diploma in Multimedia Sports Journalism in 2016.

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