Frenkie de Jong remains a priority for Thomas Tuchel, with the German coach keen to reinforce his already stacked midfield. Chelsea will require Football Club Barcelona's help in order to force through a move for the Netherlands international, who remains adamant about staying at the Camp Nou.

The Catalan club are desperate to see the back of De Jong, despite publicly stating their intentions to keep him at the club. FC Barcelona need to slash their over-inflated wage bill, and the Dutch midfielder is currently the club's highest earner at £11.8 million (€14m) a season.

Barcelona made De Jong available for transfer at the start of the summer transfer window. Manchester United were leading the chase and had even agreed a fee totalling £70 million for the midfielder, but his insistence on remaining in Spain has seen the initial agreement expire.

The Blues have now usurped their Premier League rivals, with Tuchel making signing De Jong a priority. The Stamford Bridge outfit have held talks with Barcelona in recent weeks, and are ready to meet the club's new valuation of the midfielder set at £67 million including add-ons.

Frenkie de Jong
Frenkie de Jong, Barcelona Fran Santiago/Getty Images

The former Ajax midfielder, however, remains keen to play under Xavi Hernandez at the Camp Nou. Moreover, according to CBS Sports' Ben Jacobs, De Jong has made it clear to Barcelona that he will not consider leaving unless he is paid the £17 million in deferred wages he is owed by the club.

The La Liga giants are struggling to raise cash to register their new signings, so are unlikely to be able to pay the midfielder. Chelsea are ready to cover the player's wages, but are hoping Barcelona can help them force through the transfer by possibly threatening his place in the first-team squad.

"As previously reported, the key to an FDJ exit is in Barca 'forcing' him out. He has never been told to his face by Barca that they want him to leave. Xavi is also unsure letting him go is a good idea," Jacobs wrote.

Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva has been identified as De Jong's potential replacement at the Camp Nou. The Portuguese midfielder is open to the idea of moving to Spain, but the Premier League champions are expected to demand over £70 million to let him leave the Etihad Stadium this summer.

Bernardo Silva
Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva celebrates scoring at Everton Michael Regan/POOL