Barcelona remain keen on signing Matthijs de Ligt and are reportedly ready to offer two players in exchange to land the Chelsea defensive target.
The Netherlands star has become a key player for Juventus, despite a difficult start to life in Turin after his €75million switch from Dutch giants Ajax back in 2019. However, that has not stopped rumours that he could be on the move again in 2022.
Chelsea are reported to have made De Ligt their top target and missing out on Sevilla’s Jules Kounde over the summer.
Thomas Tuchel wants another top-class centre-back on board, with Antonio Rudiger set to leave on a free next summer.
However, Barca are hoping that their swap proposal could do the trick and beat Chelsea to the punch. Calciomercato claims that keeper Marc Andre Ter Stegen and playmaker Memphis Depay will be offered in exchange for the Dutchman.
For their part, Juve are not keen to part company with De Ligt. They believe he will form the backbone of their defence when veteran star Giorgio Chiellini finally retires.
However, the Bianconeri have had a poor start to the new Serie A season. They currently sit ninth in the table after six games, with only two wins to their name.
If that poor form continues they may opt to cash in on De Ligt to strengthen their attacking options.
Even though Barca are not currently in a position to splash the cash for De Ligt, the fact they have first-teamers they can barter with makes sense for both parties.
Whether or not Juve believe that Ter Stegen and Depay would represent good value for De Ligt remains to be seen.
However, it certainly gives Chelsea something to think about – if they are serious about a deal for the centre-back.
Rudiger picks his next club
Meanwhile, Antonio Rudiger has a preference for his next destination if he does not sign a new contract with Chelsea, according to reports.
Rudiger’s future is a priority issue for Chelsea at present. His contract expires at the end of the season, leaving them vulnerable to losing him. He has undergone a resurgence since the appointment of Thomas Tuchel, who is keen to keep him. But as things stand, the defender can walk away for nothing in 2022.
There has been plenty of interest in the Germany international as a result. A recent report tallied up the list of clubs keen on him and the total was five. Among the contenders for his signature are Juventus, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur.
Turning 29 years old in March, Rudiger knows he is facing the most important decision of his career. But he has denied any talks with clubs other than his current employers.
Even so, reports in Europe are talking of his preference for his next step. According to Marca, he has already decided not to renew his contract with Chelsea. The Blues are only offering him a salary worth €6.5m per season, but he wants €10m.
Thus, he is on the search for his next club – and two names stand out in his mind. Preferably, he would join either Bayern Munich or Real Madrid next.
A move to Bayern would mark a return to the Bundesliga in his native country, where he last played for Stuttgart until 2017.
Alternatively, joining Real would be a new challenge altogether for him, having never set foot in La Liga before. And that seems the likeliest solution at present.