Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt is reportedly keen on leaving Juventus, with Chelsea emerging as his favoured destination.
Speaking on the Si & Dan Talk Chelsea podcast, Ben Jacobs has given a useful update on Chelsea’s pursuit of Matthijs de Ligt. The 22-year-old Juventus starlet has emerged as a top defensive target for Thomas Tuchel this summer, with the German mastermind rating him highly.
Jacobs suggests the feeling is mutual, with de Ligt keen on forcing through a move to Stamford Bridge in the summer transfer window. It is no secret the Dutch international wants to quit Juventus, but his desire to join Chelsea could serve as a massive boost for Tuchel, who is desperate for defensive reinforcements following the departure of Antonio Rudiger.
The German international has joined Real Madrid on a free transfer. Chelsea even expect Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta to follow suit, while Marcos Alonso could be the third Chelsea player to join Barcelona ahead of the new season.
Their exits could create a massive void in the defensive unit, and that is where Matthijs de Ligt comes into the fray. The Dutch international is only 22, but he is considered among the best in Europe due to his leadership skills, dogged defensive mentality and the ability to play the ball out from the back.
With 117 competitive games each for Juventus and Ajax, coupled with 37 caps for the Dutch national team, de Ligt also brings a wealth of experience at the highest level of football. It makes him an ideal target for Chelsea, where he could emerge as an excellent replacement for someone like Rudiger.
It is no secret de Ligt wants to quit Juventus in the summer after the Serie A giants offered a two-year contract extension that lowered his salary from €11 million per year to €8 million per year. The former Ajax starlet has swiftly rejected the offer, predictably handing in a transfer request.
The 22-year-old believes the time is right for him to leave Juventus and take the next step in his career. To that end, Chelsea has emerged as de Ligt’s desired destination, knowing he may get the opportunity to become one of the club’s defensive leaders in the years to come. He can also expect a lucrative salary as the new club owners are ready to pump in €200 million in the market this summer.
However, negotiations with Juventus will be tricky for Chelsea, especially in the midst of a financial crisis that will see the Serie A giants demanding a fortune, for the services of the Dutch centre-back.