United have been in talks with the Catalan club for more than a month over a deal for the Netherlands international.

Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag is keen to reunite with De Jong, who played under him during their time together at Ajax.

United have reportedly reached an agreement with Barcelona that would see them pay an initial £56m fee for De Jong.

However, the deal is being held up with United reportedly unwilling to pay part of De Jong’s unpaid £17m wages at the Nou Camp.

Spanish publication SPORT claim the 25-year-old is owed the figure after deferring part of his salary and bonuses to help the cash-strapped club during the coronavirus pandemic.

The money is due to be paid across the remainder of his current contract, which runs until 2026.

Reports in Spain claim Barcelona are attempting to get United to pay a percentage of De Jong’s unpaid wages as part of the deal to sign the midfielder.

Chelsea have reportedly entered the race to sign De Jong (Image: Alamy)With talks now dragging on into a second month, Chelsea appear ready to pounce.

Spanish outlet Relevo claim the London club are preparing to hijack United’s bid for De Jong and are prepared to offer up cash plus two players to get their own deal over the line.

It is claimed that Chelsea are willing to include Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta in a potential deal for De Jong.

Barcelona already had an interest in signing the two Spaniards, who both have one year remaining on their respective contracts at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea are prepared to include Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta in a deal for De Jong (Image: Alamy)But despite numerous reports suggesting otherwise, Barcelona president Joan Laporta is still insisting that De Jong is not for sale this summer.

Laporta said: “[Frenkie De Jong] is a Barca player. And unless we feel the need or the interest to sell him we won’t do it.

“Frenkie de Jong isn’t for sale. We know he has offers. And if at a given moment we are interested in selling him then we would think about it.

“But right now we won’t sell him.”