Matthijs De Ligt is reportedly flattered by interest from Chelsea – and Juventus could sell the defender to be able to afford a signing in return.
Chelsea need to evolve their defence as Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta approach the ends of their contracts. Ideally, the Blues would keep all three, but that looks unlikely. In fact, it seems they are destined to start the 2022-23 season with a new backline.
It is the main area they will have to focus on in the transfer market. In that regard, they have been linked with Netherlands international De Ligt.
The former Ajax academy product has been playing for Juventus since 2019. The plan was for him to help their own evolution for a future beyond Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci. But the veterans simply are not shifting still.
De Ligt has still managed 18 starts in Serie A this season. However, there is a feeling he could be ready for an exit from the Allianz Stadium.
Chelsea have therefore been tipped to take advantage and it may be music to his ears. According to Sport Mediaset, De Ligt has taken news of Chelsea’s interest positively.
He feels the same way about rival suitors Barcelona. However, Chelsea are likely in a stronger financial position at present.
It seems he would be open to Stamford Bridge being his next destination, which would be beneficial also for Juventus so they can reinvest.
Juventus eye Chelsea man to replace De Ligt
Indeed, La Repubblica write that the Italians want to find a more economical successor to Chiellini and Bonucci. They feel they can sell De Ligt and sign a more financially efficient replacement.
Coincidentally, one man on their shortlist to do so is Rudiger. Given his contract situation, they could take him for free when his Chelsea deal expires in the summer.
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But they still need to sell De Ligt in order to be able to afford the wage demands of the former Roma man. He left Serie A for the Premier League in 2017.
Also in contention to replenish the Juve backline are Torino’s Gleison Bremer and Lille’s Sven Botman. But Sport Mediaset themselves also affirmed Rudiger could be the ideal solution.
La Repubblica clarify that the Old Lady are looking for €90m to part with De Ligt in the summer. If Chelsea are to invest such a sum, he would become their second most expensive arrival of all time, after they spent a nine-figure sum on Romelu Lukaku in 2021.
Chelsea haven’t given up Rudiger hope
Although it would not technically be a swap deal, signing De Ligt would soften the blow for Chelsea if they were to lose Rudiger.
The Germany international has established himself as one of the best defenders in the world, especially since compatriot Thomas Tuchel took charge of Chelsea just over a year ago.
But his wage demands are proving problematic in Chelsea’s attempts to keep him. Given that he will be 29 by the summer, Rudiger knows this is also one of his last chances to explore a transfer to another member of the European elite.
In addition to Juventus, he is a target for the likes of Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain. Bayern Munich have also reportedly re-joined the race.
But according to Goal, Chelsea have now made an improved contract offer that comes closer to Rudiger’s hopes for £200,000 per week.
They hope it will give them a breakthrough. But they are aware Rudiger wants to talk to some of his European admirers to explore his options.
Therefore, they still have to wait and see what will happen, while drawing up contingency plans such as those they have for De Ligt.