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Report: Blues submit opening offer for 22-year-old Serie A star



Chelsea submit £69m offer for Juventus defender Matthijs De Ligt.

Chelsea submit £69m offer for Juventus defender Matthijs De Ligt 

Chelsea and Juventus remain in negotiations for Matthijs de Ligt, who has emerged as the top defensive target for the Boehly-Clearlake administration. The 22-year-old is believed to be keen on a move away from Turin this summer. 

Juventus CEO Maurizio Arrivabene recently commented while being asked on De Ligt’s situation that it is “impossible to keep players when they want to leave the club”, but iterated that all three parties in the negotiations have to be satisfied. 

De Ligt has a £103m (€120m) release clause in his contract and Juventus are expecting an offer in that region, or at least close to it. The probability of a player+cash deal, involving the likes of either Christian Pulisic or Timo Werner going the other way, has been discussed. 

Chelsea submit £69m offer for Juventus defender Matthijs De Ligt.
Matthijs de Ligt is keen on leaving Juventus this summer. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

According to Simon Phillips of Talk Chelsea via Rob Pratley (h/t, Chelsea have submitted an opening offer of £69m, with £60m being direct and £9m in add-ons. It’s also being said that any deal involving Christian Pulisic or Timo Werner is likely to be a separate deal, with Juventus keen on ensuring they get the maximum monetary compensation possible for De Ligt. 

The Dutchman joined Juventus in the summer of 2019 in a deal that made him the most expensive defender in Serie A history. That wasn’t surprising back then, given De Ligt’s 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 history. He went on to lead the club to a domestic double – 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. 

Chelsea submit £69m offer for Juventus defender Matthijs De Ligt.
De Ligt was named Ajax captain when he was only 18 years old. (Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Chelsea are in pole position, but will they succumb to Juve’s demands? 

De Ligt’s current deal runs until 2024, meaning that Juventus are under no obligation to lower their asking price. For a deal to be agreed, it looks like Chelsea will need to up their offer close to the £100m mark, which is extreme given that De Ligt has done very little at Juventus to justify that price tag. 

Chelsea are also currently in talks with Manchester City to discuss a Stamford Bridge return for Cobham graduate Nathan Ake, while a renewed push for long-term target Jules Kounde cannot be ruled out either. 

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Should Chelsea be priced out of a move for De Ligt, they have several other options to explore and consider. De Ligt will be a fantastic addition, without a doubt, but under no circumstance should Chelsea go anywhere near Juve’s asking price. Based on his form over the last couple of seasons, the current £69m offer is a premium in itself. 

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