Harry Redknapp claims Frenkie de Jong wants to join Chelsea and has been told by a member of Manchester United’s hierarchy that he has rejected a move to Old Trafford.
United have been pursuing De Jong all summer but despite agreeing an €85m (£71.7m) deal with Barcelona, the midfielder has not yet left the La Liga giants.
Chelsea, meanwhile, are also in discussions with Barcelona about a deal for the Netherlands international.
De Jong has made it clear that his preference is to remain at Barca, who still owe him around €17m (£14m) after he agreed to defer part of his salary to help their financial situation.
But Redknapp says he has it on good authority that De Jong is keen to make the move to Stamford Bridge before the window closes.
Speaking about De Jong’s situation to The Byline, Redknapp said: ‘Now it looks like De Jong wants to go to Chelsea, I know that for a fact, he wants to go to Chelsea.
‘Man United are not going to get him. I’ve had that from somebody right at the very, very, very top at Man United, he’s made up [his mind], he really wants to go to Chelsea.
‘So if he goes to Chelsea, and Man United don’t get him, I don’t know where they’re going and if Chelsea get him obviously he’ll be a fantastic signing for them.’
Despite Barca’s desire to sell De Jong, Xavi said last month that the player remains a major part of his plans.
‘I have chatted with him, he knows how much I value him, I value him very much as a footballer,’ said Xavi.
‘We have had very important private conversations that I will not reveal here. For me, he is a fundamental player for the team’s play.’