Transfer Gossip: Enzo, De Jong swap to suit all parties as Chelsea, Arsenal, Barcelona in battles for midfield trio

Enzo Fernandez and his agent really need to get on the same page as Chelsea could offer Barcelona a swap deal, while Amadou Onana is mixed up in all of this somehow.

It feels as though it’s been a while since we, and every other purveyor of transfer gossip, inanely tapped away on keyboards over the latest minor development in The Frenkie De Jong Saga, which – in fairness to the man himself – involved everyone else getting carried away over a proposed move to Manchester United, while he remained absolutely consistent: he didn’t want to leave Barcelona, and certainly not for Old Trafford.

That may now have changed though – more likely the first bit than the second – with reports suggesting Barcelona, amid their continuing financial woes, are willing to sell any of their players save for Pedri, Gavi and Yamine Lamal, and more importantly, De Jong actually wants to leave.

De Jong, who’s 26, valued at £68m and is under contract until the summer of 2026, is one of the club’s most sellable assets, and an attractive guy to be rid of for Barcelona, given he’s one of the highest earners at the Nou Camp.

And a key difference to previous years – certainly the summer of 2022 when United and Erik ten Hag were pushing – De Jong now wants out.

That’s according to Relevo, who claim the midfielder is ‘disppointed with the club’s current position and believes expectations have not been met, particularly when it comes to challenging for the Champions League’.

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Paris Saint-Germain will reportedly join United in the running, along with Chelsea, who are ready to bid €100m (£86m) because they won’t have paid over-the-odds for a central midfielder for a year by the time the summer rolls around.

HITC claim Arsenal have also ‘inquired’ about De Jong, with comments from 2019 used to evidence them as his Premier League preference.

“In my mind, I have had the following list for a long time: Ajax-Arsenal-Barcelona; call it the Marc Overmars route,” De Jong told Voetbal International.

Chelsea may just be lining De Jong up as a replacement for Enzo Fernandez, whose agent categorically rejected claims his client was ‘open’ to a move away from Stamford Bridge, seemingly moments before a fresh report has claimed he has ‘offered himself’ to Barcelona.

Sport claim the Argentina international has been ‘seduced’ by the idea of moving to the Nou Camp, with the Chelsea star adamant he ‘wants to leave’ the Premier League club, instructing his agent to make a move to Barcelona happen, with him ‘not giving up’ on his preferred move.

The report does concede that this move is ‘highly unlikely’ with Fernandez under contract with Chelsea until 2032, but then ‘the word impossible does not exist in football’.

Barcelona, or more specifically their sporting director Deco, have also identified Everton’s Amadou Onana as top central midfield target.

It’s Sport once again making the claim, but this one at least has some legs given Onana’s apparent willingness to leave the club in January, had there been a suitable offer made for him.

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Deco reckons the Belgian ‘can bring extra consistency and physicality to the club’s midfield’, though the Catalans will face competition from usual suspects Arsenal and Chelsea, and Everton’s asking price of over €60m may prove to be too steep in any case.

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