Chelsea are reportedly interested in signing Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt to reinforce their defence ahead of the start of the 2022-23 season.
The 22-year-old, who shot to fame with his towering performances for Eredivisie club Ajax, has been linked with a host of clubs this summer. Among them, Chelsea and Manchester United stand out from the rest, as per a report by Metro.
After helping Juventus clinch the Serie A title and the Coppa Italia trophy in successive years, the centre-back went trophyless last season. The Old Lady finished fourth in Serie A and lost the finals of Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana in the 2021-22 season.
According to a report by Calciomercato [via Sport Witness], Chelsea are ‘in pole position’ to sign De Ligt as he has emerged as the ‘first-choice’ target for the Blues this transfer window. However, the Serie A club are also pushing to renew the Netherlands defender’s contract beyond 2024.
Juventus, who are in continuous contact with De Ligt’s representative Rafaela Pimenta, are keen to offer the centre-back a new deal until 2026. In the process, the club hopes to lower both his salary from €11 million to €8 million per year and his release clause from €120 million to €80 million.
Since joining the Turin club in 2019, De Ligt has featured in 117 matches across all competitions, registering eight goals and three assists along the way. He played an impressive 3691 minutes last season, scoring three times.
Chelsea eyeing a busy transfer window this summer
In the ongoing summer transfer window, the Blues are aiming to add defenders to their squad to fill the void left by the exits of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen. Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso are also rumoured to depart the Premier League club soon.
Speaking to football.london last month, head coach Thomas Tuchel said
“We are rebuilding, not improving the squad. This is always challenging, but we are up for the challenge. What I can promise is that I will be here – if I can promise that – I will be here with full energy and positive energy no matter what. We will still work for Chelsea, and I refuse to think of negative scenarios. We will be competitive, on which level we will see.”
According to a report by La Voix du Nord [via The Sun], the two-time UEFA Champions League winners are keen on signing Lens right-back Jonathan Clauss. Furthermore, the London club are pondering a move for Wolverhampton Wanderers left-back Rayan Ait-Nouri as per a report by The Sun.
Meanwhile, Chelsea are also heavily linked with long-term transfer target Jules Kounde. According to a report by The Sun, the Premier League club have been given a free run to sign the Sevilla centre-back for a reported fee of £65 million.