Juventus defender and reported Chelsea target Matthijs De Ligt has a release clause in his contract in Turin that will become active next summer, according to a reliable source.
Over the weekend the Sunday Express stated that Chelsea were ready to make a move for De Ligt.
The Holland international centre-back was wanted by Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool before completing a £70m move from Ajax to Juve in 2019.
Blues boss Thomas Tuchel was hunting for a centre-back in the summer. Top target Jules Kounde though proved out of reach.
Chelsea was desperate to land the France defender, but when the asking price climbed to around £77m a deal did not materialise.
Kounde was reportedly ‘furious’ a move did not materialise. While Chelsea have been tipped to make another move for the player in January.
They do however have other irons in the fire and 22-year-old De Ligt is believed to be another serious option.
The classy defender is under contract until 2024, but he is understood to have a release clause in his deal which will become active next summer.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Fabrizio Romano explained: “But in particular, because Matthijs de Ligt has a release clause into his contract with Juventus. This clause is valid from next summer, so 2022, it’s a clause valid for €150m.
“So, De Ligt will be available on the market for €150m. This clause was part of the contract since he signed with Juventus, so Mino Raiola was planning for this clause as he did for Erling Haaland with Borussia Dortmund [and] he did the same for De Ligt with Juventus.
“But now this summer will be time for Matthijs de Ligt – as I say next summer, summer 2022 – to be available on the market with this clause.
“Of course, it’s a big clause. It will be really difficult to see any club ready to pay this money. But it means that the player could be available on the market.”
Raiola’s contract clauses
It’s a clause which De Ligt’s agent Mino Raiola often places into contracts of his players.
Erling Haaland has a similar arrangement in his deal at Dortmund next summer. The striker will be allowed to move on if anyone triggers the £64m release clause.
While Haaland’s buyout figure will be a bargain, De Light’s €150m tag seems very expensive.
Raiola though has already generated a buzz around the defender after warning that De Ligt could move on.
Raiol told Tuttosport: “De Ligt and [Alessio] Romagnoli are among the strongest defenders in Europe. De Ligt has a contract, while Romagnoli’s deal expires next year.
“Yes, I think they could play together at Juventus next year. But be careful because De Ligt could also leave Juventus at the end of the season. This is how the market works, there are many clubs who are interested in his services.”
Tuchel will also get a closer look at De Ligt with the two sides set to meet in the Champions League.
Chelsea will travel to Turin to take on Juventus on September 29. The return leg is on November 23 at Stamford Bridge.
De Ligt has made 79 appearances and scored five goals in his time in Italy. He has also won Serie A and the Coppa Italia in two full seasons.