Chelsea transfer news: Blues prepare bid for Juventus centre-back Matthijs de Ligt

Matthijs de Ligt
(Image credit: PA)

Chelsea are keen to recruit another centre-back and their focus has shifted to Matthijs de Ligt after missing out on Sevilla’s Jules Kounde.

According to AS, the Blues are prepared to pay just over £100million for the Dutch international, making him the most expensive signing in the club’s history.

Such a fee would eclipse the £97.5million spent on bringing Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge this summer.

Thomas Tuchel remains determined to strengthen his defence after failing to agree a deal for Kounde.

Despite weeks of negotiations with Chelsea, Sevilla wanted his release clause paid in full and were unwilling to compromise late on in the transfer window.

After helping Ajax to reach the Champions League semi-finals, where they narrowly lost to Tottenham Hotspur, De Ligt joined Juventus in July 2019.

He arrived with a reputation as one of the most promising young defenders in the world but has yet to show his best form in Serie A.

He made 26 league starts in his first season as Juve won the title, coming in for some criticism from the media over his performances.

In comparison to veteran defenders Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci, de Ligt wasn’t anywhere near as commanding or aerially dominant.

Last season, Juventus were a shadow of their former selves under novice manager Andrea Pirlo, finishing down in fourth as a run of nine consecutive titles came to a disappointing end.

De Ligt missed several games through injury and illness, leading to speculation that a fresh start was needed to reignite his career.

The 22-year-old, who has previously been linked with Liverpool and Barcelona amongst others, is now a major target for Chelsea.

He is represented by the notorious Mino Raiola, whose clients include Erling Haaland, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba.

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