Chelsea have reportedly been handed a major blow in their pursuit of Matthijs de Ligt as the 22-year-old is keen to join Bayern Munich.

According to Sport1 reporter Kerry Hau on Twitter, Premier League giants Chelsea have been handed a blow in their pursuit of 22-year-old Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt, who wants to join Bayern Munich in the summer transfer window.

It has been a turbulent few months for Chelsea, who went through uncertainty off the field and also on it. Star defenders Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen have left as free agents, joining Real Madrid and Barcelona, respectively. This has left a considerable void in Thomas Tuchel’s centre-back roster heading into the 2022/23 season.

Barcelona are also in talks to sign Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso, potentially dealing another blow to Chelsea’s strength in defence at the back. It will not just reduce the numbers in Chelsea’s ranks but also strip them of a considerable amount of experience.

Given that an ageing Thiago Silva is their best central defender in the current squad, it is a question of when than if Chelsea will raid the market for reinforcements. With interest in Jules Kounde getting nowhere, the Blues shifted their attention to 22-year-old Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt, who appears ready to leave the Serie A giants.

Securing the services of the 22-year-old would have been a coup for Chelsea, who could potentially be getting their defensive lynchpin for the next decade. Matthijs de Ligt has the potential to be one of the best defenders in the worldand, despite his young age, he boasts of considerable experience.

Unfortunately, Bayern Munich have thrown a spanner in Chelsea’s plans and are now in the driving seat to sign the Dutch international. Hasan Salihamidzic, Bayern’s sporting director, is preparing an opening bid that will put the ball in Juventus’s court. While it is touted to be lesser than the Serie A club’s asking price, it does officially set into motion negotiations between both clubs.

The player has made it clear that he is keen to join Bayern, ruling Chelsea out of the running. This is a heavy-handed blow for the west Londoners, who have been unable to land any major players this summer. The longer it drags on, the more desperate the club can get to plug in obvious gaps in the roster. Todd Boehly certainly has a steep learning curve on his introduction to the beautiful game.

Chelsea will also be wary that Liverpool and Manchester City have added to their squads this summer and will once again be the teams to beat next season. The Blues, on the other hand, have lost key stars, and reinforcements are nowhere in sight. Unless something changes for the good, it could be a long season for the Stamford Bridge faithful.

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