Chelsea remain in the hunt to seal the transfer of Matthijs de Ligt

Chelsea remain in the hunt to seal the transfer of Matthijs de Ligt

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05 Jul 2022
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The Blues have identified the Dutchman as a primary target this summer, with Thomas Tuchel’s side making a late entry into the market following the confirmation of their takeover led by Todd Boehly.

Bayern Munich have rivalled the Stamford Bridge outfit in pursuit of the Netherlands international’s services

Chelsea remain ahead of Bayern Munich in the hunt to seal the transfer of centre-back Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus. The Blues have identified the Dutchman as a primary target this summer, with Thomas Tuchel’s side making a late entry into the market following the confirmation of their takeover led by Todd Boehly. But Bayern Munich have rivalled the Stamford Bridge outfit in pursuit of the Netherlands international’s services, creating a red-hot chase for his signature. Chelsea have their noses in front in the hunt to bring the centre-back to London instead of moving to Munich. But the situation remains in flux, with the chance that Bayern could yet steal in and offer a more tempting proposal to Juventus.

Juventus originally signed the 22-year-old from Ajax in 2019

The Italian giants would ideally like to get around €120 million for De Ligt. Still, they also understand that such a fee may prove too steep in the current market and would settle for recouping their initial €80m investment. The Bianconeri originally signed the 22-year-old from Ajax in 2019, where he won the Serie A title in his first season in Turin – but the club’s struggles to recapture that form over the following two seasons have seen him questioning their ambition, with talks of an extension past 2024 stalled. “Today, keeping a player who wants to leave is impossible,” said Juventus CEO Maurizio Arrivabene. “It’s not always about the money, and if one wants to go, you don’t just tell him: ok, go ahead. It’s hard to keep a player, but all those sitting at the table of negotiations must be satisfied. Who has the money wins.”

It has already been a busy off-season for the Blues, albeit not so far in the way they would have hoped, with a flood of stars – including Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen – departing on free transfers. In addition, Romelu Lukaku has left in a loan return to Inter following a difficult first season back at Stamford Bridge, with his Blues career possibly set to be at a close after just one term back in the fold. Chelsea will be pushing for recruits – in addition to De Ligt, they have been in dogged pursuit of Leeds winger Raphinha and Manchester City star Raheem Sterling – but quite who will make it through the door at Stamford Bridge remains up in the air.

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