Premier League • England

Juventus stance softening, with new Chelsea makeweight to help thrash out De Ligt transfer terms

Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt

Chelsea officials are expected to meet with their Juventus counterparts on Thursday, and a comprehensive report has shed light on all aspects of a potential Matthijs de Ligt transfer.

The Blues are beginning to mobilise in the transfer market and are determined to make up for lost time. Additions in defence and attack are the order of the day. In the final third, Raheem Sterling is in focus and talks are already underway.

Ousmane Dembele and Richarlison are also targets, though Tottenham must be beaten if they’re to land the Everton hitman.

At the back, Nathan Ake is another topic of conversation between Chelsea and Man City. Thomas Tuchel is seeking a left-footed centre-back to fill the void Antonio Rudiger has vacated in the back three.

Jules Kounde and Matthijs de Ligt are also on their radar, with the latter likely to be Chelsea’s most expensive deal this summer if signed.

The Dutchman’s contract with Juventus is due to expire in 2024. The Telegraph recently claimed it’s unlikely he’ll pen fresh terms, something that has Juve mulling a sale this summer.

His release clause stands at a whopping £103m, though Sky Sports stated any Chelsea bid is likely to be well below that mark.

Now, a comprehensive report from Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport has shed light on many aspects of a potential move.

De Ligt move detailed

Firstly, they report a fresh, face to face meeting is poised to take place between Chelsea and Juventus chiefs on Thursday.

Juventus had initially pointed Chelsea in the direction of the player’s £103m release clause when they first enquired about a deal. However, doubts over whether De Ligt will sign an extension could now see them accept around £86m, providing a makeweight is included.

The outlet claims Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic’s names were both floated. Neither, per the report, were to Juve’s liking.

Instead, midfield metronome Jorginho is the latest to be talked up as a makeweight. Whether Tuchel would be receptive to losing the Italy international isn’t clear. Though his exit could be covered by retaining Conor Gallagher at Stamford Bridge.

Jorginho playing for Chelsea

Juventus’ stance on De Ligt is not to sell unless they receive a game changing offer. £86m and a player included would seemingly fit that bill.

From the player’s perspective, it’s claimed he’s reluctant to pen fresh terms unless a deal includes a reduction in his release clause. A lower figure in the range of £60m-£69m is touted, though Juventus would understandably be reluctant to agree to those terms.

The report concludes a deal is far from advanced at present, though could quickly become serious pending the outcome of the upcoming meeting.

Can Chelsea pull it off?

The Telegraph recently reported Tuchel has a £200m war chest to spend. De Ligt would likely hoover up around 40 percent of that, but at 22 and already established, he’d represent value in the long run.

The Blues’ coffers may also be boosted by player sales too. Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso are both being chased by Barcelona. The reported price Chelsea want for the pair was detailed by Spanish publication Sport.

Several forwards’ futures are uncertain too, including Werner, Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech. Romelu Lukaku is poised to return to Inter on loan and Chelsea will receive a loan fee.

Moves for De Ligt, Sterling, one of Ake or Kounde, and Dembele on a free could cost a total of around £170m.

Clearly, De Ligt is not out of reach this summer if the £200m war chest claim is on point.