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United are in talks with Barcelona over the midfielder and a £56 million fee has been agreed, with personal terms set to be hashed out.
De Jong was initially reluctant to leave the Camp Nou but is now open to a transfer.
United finished sixth in the Premier League last season and failed to qualify for the Champions League, a competition the 25-year-old is keen to play in.
The Guardian claim Chelsea are monitoring the situation and waiting to pounce.
Thomas Tuchel's side are yet to make a signing under new owner Todd Boehly, but are working on deals for Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling and Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt.
Chelsea were interested in de Jong when he was at Ajax in 2019 and Tuchel is said to be a big fan.
It remains to be seen if they will make a move this summer, but an operation would be far cheaper than getting Declan Rice out of West Ham United.
Regular starters Jorginho and N'Golo Kante are out of contract next summer, while Saul Niguez has returned to Atletico Madrid after an underwhelming loan spell.
Conor Gallagher impressed on loan at Crystal Palace and is expected to be given a chance.
Chelsea are more likely to strengthen in defence after Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen chose to let their contracts expire.
United, meanwhile, are likely to announce Feyenoord left-back Tyrell Malacia as Erik ten Hag's first signing.
The 22-year-old was set to join Lyon and agreed terms with the Ligue 1 outfit last month.
However, United came in with a higher bid earlier this week and included a sell-on clause which swayed Feyenoord.
Malacia could have his medical this weekend and be announced next week.
United are set to turn their attentions to Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez and according to The Athletic, they have moved ahead of Arsenal in the race for his signature.
Martinez is said to be keen on a reunion with former manager ten Hag, who brought the Argentina international to Ajax in 2019.
Christian Eriksen also remains a target, with the midfielder currently a free agent after seeing his short-term deal with Brentford expire.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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