Chelsea are reportedly ready to break the bank for Juventus defender Mathijs de Ligt, who could be their defensive ace for the upcoming decade.
According to AS, European champions Chelsea are ready to make their move for Dutch international Mathijs de Ligt in the 2022 summer transfer window.
The Blues enjoyed an excellent summer which saw them bring in Romelu Lukaku and Saul Niguez (on loan). A centre-back was on the agenda, with the club making a move to land Sevilla star Jules Kounde, only to be unable to reach an agreement with the Spanish club.
Chelsea now have another player on their radar – Juventus defender Mathijs de Ligt. The Dutchman is one of the best young defenders in world football. Just 22 years old, he is already a seasoned player and could add youth and experience to the Blues’ backline.
Thiago Silva remains a key part of the Chelsea jigsaw, but is not getting any younger. More so, the uncertainty surrounding Antonio Rudiger’s future makes bringing in a new defender a priority rather than a luxury next summer.
There is more to de Ligt than just his defensive prowess. Having captained the club at Ajax Amsterdam, the youngster will also bring in leadership qualities. In more ways than one, he can fill the vacuum that Silva will leave at the back when he eventually calls it quits at the Bridge.
Despite his promise, the move to Italy has so far been underwhelming. The 22-year-old has failed to meet expectations and has so far been more of a miss than a hit. The Dutchman has made six appearances for Juventus this season. Notably, he was not in the starting XI against AC Milan and only made the bench for the crunch clash against Napoli.
Clearly, he does not appear to have gained Massimilano Allegri’s trust for the biggest games. To add fuel to the fire, de Ligt is represented by controversial yet impactful football super agent Mino Raiola. He recently hinted that a clause in the player’s contract could see him seek a fresh challenge in 2022.
However, he will not go cheap, and Chelsea are ready to pay €120 million to secure the Dutchman’s services. As long as he fulfils his potential, it could prove to be a bargain indeed. It also offers Juventus the opportunity to earn a huge amount for a player who has fallen short of expectations.
European giants Liverpool and Barcelona have also shown interest in de Ligt in the past. The Reds recently signed Ibrahima Konate and are currently well-stocked in the centre-back department. Although not impossible, it is not easy to see Jurgen Klopp’s side break the bank to land the Dutchman.
Barcelona, on the other hand, could do with just such a defender. However, their financial crisis could stop them from making a move. This hands Chelsea the initiative should they act fast. De Ligt has the best years of his career ahead of him and has all the tools to become a world-class defender. He could prove to be a pivotal piece in the Chelsea jigsaw for the years to come.