Juventus’ defensive prodigy Matthijs de Ligt has emerged as a top transfer target for European champions Chelsea.

According to Calciomercato, Chelsea are in the market for Matthijs de Ligt. They have identified the Juventus centre-back as a top target as Thomas Tuchel eyes reinforcements in the defensive department.

De Ligt’s current contract in Turin expires in 2024, and the defender has lately emerged as a vital cog at the heart of the Juventus backline, having already notched up 80 competitive appearances for the Bianconeri. However, the return of Massimiliano Allegri has put his future in doubt, as the Italian tactician is notoriously known for his reliance on ageing stars.

It has put Chelsea on red alert, who are actively looking to sign a top centre-back after missing out on Jules Kounde at the end of last month. They had also attempted to sign Marquinhos, but their reported €100 million offer was rejected not only by Paris Saint-Germain but by the player as well, who is happy with his life in Paris.

In de Ligt, Chelsea may find themselves another young and talented defender who has the potential of becoming a real leader for the team. The Dutchman has already impressed the onlookers with his leadership during his time at Juventus and Ajax, as well as the Netherlands national team.

Matthijs de Ligt is still out with a shoulder injury. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Time for a new adventure? (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

The Blues are in dire need of such characters amid reports linking Antonio Rudiger with a move away from Stamford Bridge. The German international’s current contract expires at the end of the season and the player has been reluctant in penning a new deal with the club.

Thiago Silva, too, is set to leave Chelsea at the end of the season while Cesar Azpilicueta is entering the final phase of his career. The addition of someone like Matthijs de Ligt, in that regard, could offer some much-needed youthful exuberance at the heart of the Chelsea backline.

However, the Dutch international is expected to cost a fortune given his age and the potential to become the best defender in Europe. He already offers a lot of experience to the table and it will be certainly difficult for the Blues to find a breakthrough in negotiations with Juventus, who had paid as much as €85 million for the defender in 2019.

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