MANCHESTER UNITED are set to end their attempt to sign Frenkie de Jong, according to reports.
The midfielder, 24, has been Erik ten Hag’s number one target for much of the summer.
But after the Red Devils agreed a £74million fee with Barcelona to sign De Jong, the Dutchman turned down the move.
United have moved for Casemiro instead and have reached an agreement with Real Madrid to sign the midfielder for £70m.
And that deal means the club has ended their pursuit of De Jong, report The Athletic.
United had previously hoped De Jong would change his mind and agree to complete a transfer.
And United ending their hunt means Chelsea now have the opportunity to capitalise.
Thomas Tuchel is believed to be a big fan of De Jong but the Blues are yet to agree a fee with Barcelona.
Chelsea hope the Spanish giants will reduce their asking price later in the transfer window and are prepared to wait for that to happen.
However, De Jong’s preference is to stay at the Nou Camp despite Barca saying he must accept a 50 per cent pay cut while still being owed £14million in deferred wages.
FREE BETS AND SIGN UP DEALS – BEST NEW CUSTOMER OFFERS
With the Casemiro deal complete United could focus their transfer efforts on another key target – Antony.
The club has ramped up their efforts to sign the winger in recent days but had a £67.5million offer rejected by Ajax.
The Brazilian has reportedly been made to train alone since and could be left out of the squad for Sunday’s clash with Sparta Rotterdam.