Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt reportedly has his heart set on an exit in the summer of 2022 amidst interest from Barcelona and Chelsea.
According to a report from Italian journalist Giacomo Iacobellis, Matthijs de Ligt has decided to part ways with Serie A giants Juventus at the end of the ongoing season, with Barcelona and Chelsea interested in signing him.
De Ligt joined Juventus in the summer of 2019 from AFC Ajax in a deal worth a massive sum of €75 million. While the Dutchman has fared well for the most part in Turin, he has had to share minutes with the veteran defensive duo of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci.
To date, the 22-year-old has racked up 95 appearances for the Bianconeri, scoring six goals in the process. The Netherlands international, who has been widely regarded as one of the best young centre-backs in Europe, continues to attract interest from some of the biggest clubs across the continent, with Barcelona and Chelsea, in particular, keen on signing de Ligt.
Barcelona’s interest in the Dutchman dates back to his Ajax days, with the Catalans having tried to sign him before his transfer to Juventus. They have continued to follow the defender’s progress and are now lining up another attempt in the summer of next year as they look to secure a long-term replacement for veteran defender Gerard Pique.
Furthermore, with Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti unlikely to remain at Camp Nou for much longer, reinforcements will be needed at the back, with de Ligt emerging as a top target. However, the Blaugrana will have to face competition from Chelsea, who are looking at the possibility of a major defensive overhaul before next season starts.
Indeed, Chelsea have four of their frontline defenders in Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Cesar Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva on contracts that expire at the end of the season. Although it is unlikely that all four of them will leave in the summer, Rudiger looks likely to be on his way out amidst serious interest from several top clubs, including Real Madrid.
So, a new defender will be a necessary signing for Thomas Tuchel & co. While Jules Kounde has been touted as a target again, the Blues continue to hold a strong interest in de Ligt.
Now, both Chelsea and Barcelona have been handed a boost in their pursuit of the 22-year-old as it is being claimed that he is keen on securing an exit from Juventus at the end of the season. De Ligt’s agent, Mino Raiola, hinted at such a possibility not so long ago, and the report mentioned above seems to corroborate the claims made by him insisting that the Dutchman is ready to depart.
While this development will certainly come as a boost for Barcelona and Chelsea, signing him will not be straightforward as he has a release clause worth €120 million that will need to be triggered. So, it remains to be seen if either club decides to make a move de Ligt in the summer of 2022.