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De Jong next? – Five players who chose Chelsea over Man United

Eden Hazard Chelsea
Eden Hazard. Photo/Skysports
  • The Frenkie de Jong transfer saga doesn’t seem to end as it takes a different twist every other time
  •  Chelsea has the upper hand over United on the Barcelona player after he refused to join the United
  • Over the years, there have been few players who preferred a move to Chelsea over Manchester United

In the last decade, there have been players who chose Chelsea over Man United. The issue of Frenkie de Jong’s future appears to be far from over, albeit Chelsea has added a twist to the story after showing interest in the midfielder.

Manchester United will be wary of an approach from the Blues, having spent the summer unsuccessfully pursuing Erik ten Hag’s number one objective.

In the past, Chelsea successfully poached transfer targets from their Premier League competitors. As the Blues aim to hijack another deal, we look back at five players who prefered a move to Stamford Bridge over a move to Manchester United.

Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard. Photo/Premier League

In 2012, Eden Hazard was one of the most sought-after players in all European football. Teams from all over the continent were vying for the opportunity to sign the winger from Lille.

Before Chelsea signed Hazard for £32 million, there was competition from Premier League top clubs, including Manchester United. However, Chelsea emerged victorious in the bidding war to get Hazard’s services.

Hazard was one of the best players in the Premier League when he left Chelsea after seven productive seasons. He evolved into one of the best footballers in the league and won two league titles, two Europa League medals, and four other essential honours.

The Belgian forward was honoured with the PFA Player of the Year award following Chelsea’s championship run in 2014–15. He also led the league in scoring 110 goals before moving to Real Madrid in 2019.

N’Golo Kante

Ng'olo Kante

Ng’olo Kante in action for Chelsea/PHOTO: Courtesy

N’Golo Because of Kante’s contribution to Leicester City’s unexpected championship run, the top clubs in the Premier League are vying for his signature. Chelsea and Manchester United have both expressed an interest in signing the midfielder.

Kante was interested in moving to Manchester, and Jose Mourinho called to try to convince him. However, the Frenchman ultimately decided that he wanted to join Chelsea instead of Old Trafford.

“My discussions with them were already well underway. But when I spoke, I had a good feeling with Conte.”

Kante was honoured with the PFA Player of the Year award after a spectacular first season with Chelsea, during which he was an integral part of the Blues’ run to the Premier League championship.

United has generally been unable to fix their midfield concerns in the six seasons since he declined to play for the Red Devils.

Arjen Robben

In 2004, when he was still a teenager, winger Arjen Robben flew to England for contract negotiations with Manchester United. The Dutch club came very close to acquiring Robben’s services.

It seemed as though everything was falling into place for the PSV Eindhoven prodigy to sign with the club, and the player’s father even went so far as to suggest that Old United was the “only place” his son wanted to play.

However, a transaction dragged on because United hesitated to match PSV’s asking price. This opened the door for Chelsea Kenyon to sneak in and snag the Dutchman from under their noses.


Another transfer war between Chelsea and Manchester United took place in 2015, and Chelsea emerged victorious. The Spain international later revealed that the Blues’ more significant interest in signing him led to his decision to move to Stamford Bridge.

Earlier, the player’s representative asserted that the Red Devils ‘fell asleep’ during discussions, which saw him be among the players who chose Chelsea over Man United Blues to make their move and sign the player.

Chelsea activated the release clause in Pedro’s contract at Barcelona for £22 million. The Spaniard played for Barcelona for five seasons and made 206 appearances, scoring 43 goals during that time.

John Obi Mikel

John Obi Mikel

John Obi Mikel. Photo/Premier League

During the most remarkable transfer battle between Manchester United and Chelsea, the former’s agreement for John Obi Mikel was so far along that the midfielder signed a contract and was introduced in club colours. This was the most memorable transfer battle between the two clubs.

However, in an unbelievable turn of events, the Nigerian teenager playing for the Norwegian side Lyn Oslo claimed that he was coerced into entering into a contract with the Red Devils.

This led to a contentious legal battle between the two teams. Each side believing that they had reached an agreement regarding the signing of Mikel.

Chelsea had reached an agreement with Mikel and his representatives. She stated that the club had assisted the midfielder in moving to Europe from Nigeria as a youngster.

Even though Mikel had been pursued by both Man Utd and Lyn Oslo two years before. The agreement was reached at the same time United reached a deal with Lyn Oslo.

The head of the Premier League, Sir Dave Richards, then took action and contacted Mikel to set up a meeting at which a decision could be made regarding Mikel’s future.


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