Transfer News: Chelsea are leading the race to sign Juventus defender Matthijs De Ligt
Chelsea are understood to be the frontrunners to land Juventus centre-back Matthijs De Ligt. The Dutchman’s contract in Turin has a €120 million release clause, which he is expecting to be lowered should he sign a new deal.
These ongoing negotiations between De Ligt and Juventus is almost like a drop of blood in an ocean filled with ‘sharks’ – Manchester United, Liverpool, and Barcelona have all shown serious interest, but according to Calciomercato (h/t Football London), it’s Chelsea who appear to be the Dutchman’s most likely destination, should the defender leave Juve.
De Ligt signed for Juventus in the summer of 2019 for a staggering €75 million, making him the most expensive defender in Serie A history by far. Such a fee wasn’t surprising though, given his stock and accomplishments at the time.
At only 18-years of age, De Ligt was named Ajax captain – making him the club’s youngest skipper in club history. He went on to lead the Dutch giants to a domestic double during the 18/19 season – winning the Eredivisie and Dutch Cup, and a scintillating run to the Champions League semi-final.
De Ligt’s time at Juventus is yet to reach such heights, but during his three-year stay thus far, he has won all domestic trophies available – the Scudetto in 19/20, the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa in 20/21.
With the recent resurgence of both Milanese clubs, Juventus find themselves in a precarious position and seem to be some way off from challenging for the Scudetto.
Paulo Dybala, another Juve star, is due to leave the club once his contract runs down this month. Club legend Giorgio Chiellini will be joining MLS side Los Angeles FC on July 1. A massive overhaul seems to be on the horizon for Juve, and if De Ligt is to depart, that will make their task for the summer even more complicated.
De Ligt to delete Chelsea’s concern over defence?
The departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen have left a gaping hole which Chelsea need to address. A move for Sevilla’s Jules Kounde is expected to materialise by the end of this window, but that would still leave the Blues in need of another defender.
De Ligt however is a natural leader, someone who is familiar with the weight of a captain’s armband. With Chelsea investing for the future, there is no surprise that De Ligt is viewed as an option around who the Blues can rebuild their defence.
The 22-year-old is reportedly in negotiations with Juventus and would likely require the Old Lady to lower his release clause significantly, should they want him to renew at all costs.
More Chelsea news:
- 30-year-old Serie A superstar ‘tempted’ by Chelsea’s £165k-a-week offer
- Report: Chelsea set to submit €40m bid for top South American defender
- Injury News: Chelsea superstar withdraws from international duty due to fitness issue
If those discussions stall, that would leave De Ligt with only one year left on his deal next summer, which is when club’s can start striking cut-price deals. So if Juve want to ensure maximum cash-in balance on their asset, maybe the best time is to do it now – if they fail to shake hands over a new deal.
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