There was to be no dramatic end to the Frenkie De Jong transfer saga last summer, with the midfield eventually opting to stay at Barcelona, despite Barcelona actively trying to get rid of him.
It was a head-scratching decision from the 25-year-old, who could’ve easily opted to join either Manchester United or Chelsea for around €80m, though he’s been somewhat validated since he’s featured in all but two of their games, starting 6 of 12 in all competitions in the process. However, Barca’s financial difficulties aren’t going away, and a disastrous Champions League group stage that will see them drop into the Europa League isn’t helping.
Perhaps that’s playing into things, with ESPN reporting this weekend that Chelsea “are thought to have received encouragement that De Jong may be willing to reconsider his future”. That’s a lot of vague conditionals, but combined with Chelsea growing concerns at midfield — both injury-wise and contractual — an approach for the 25-year-old may not be the least shocking thing in January. No time like January to panic and overpay, after all! (Have we signed those technical and sporting directors yet?)