Chelsea are willing to match Man Utd’s agreed £72m bid for Barcelona midfielder De Jong; Aubameyang only left Chelsea’s London rivals Arsenal in January; Chelsea are confident on signing Leicester’s Wesley Fofana and have been quoted £12m for Inter Milan’s Cesar Casadei

Chelsea are ready to sign Frenkie de Jong and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang if Barcelona allow both players to leave this month.

Manchester United agreed a £72m fee to sign De Jong last month but he is owed £17m in deferred wages and will not agree to leave until he is paid. Barcelona want him to stay but only if he agrees to take a significant pay cut and accept a £6m settlement for his deferred wages.

Chelsea are willing to match United’s £72m offer and unlike United, they can offer De Jong Champions League football.

Aubameyang moved to Barcelona on a free transfer from Arsenal in January. He has three years left on his contract. Although Thomas Tuchel has been reluctant to talk about Aubameyang in public he is keen to work again with a player who scored 79 goals for him in two seasons at Borussia Dortmund.

Tuchel’s priority is to sign a centre-back and a forward this month and Chelsea are increasingly confident that they can agree a deal to sign Leicester defender Wesley Fofana and are preparing a third offer. Leicester do not want to sell Fofana but they would find it difficult to turn down an offer close to £80m.