Chelsea are determined to fend off new interest from Juventus for the signature of a French sensation that would ease Thomas Tuchel’s concerns, per a report.
There are very few positions in Tuchel’s Chelsea squad that would give any manager cause for concern. But according to Sport Witness (citing Italian outlet TuttoJuve), central midfield is one of them.
N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic have already proven they are capable of providing a platform from which Chelsea can lift major honours.
However, Kante has begun to struggle with injury in recent seasons. Perhaps with that in mind, Chelsea opted to sanction the loan capture of Saul Niguez on deadline day.
The Spaniard looked lost on his debut outing versus Aston Villa. While it is obviously too early judge the 26-year-old so soon, he is unlikely to see his temporary stay made permanent if he does not make a lasting impression.
The likes of Conor Gallagher and Billy Gilmour are long-term options after being sent out on loan this season. But in the more immediate term, a move for Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni has been touted.
The 21-year-old has been a colossus in midfield for the Ligue 1 outfit. He is particularly known for his proficency at winning duels, interceptions and making tackles.
His all-action style would mesh well with what Tuchel demands of his central midfielders. But per Sport Witness, Juventus also have their eyes on the France international.
Nonetheless, Chelsea are described as ‘wanting to beat’ the Turin club to Tchouameni’s signature to solve ‘one of the areas’ concerning Tuchel.
And signing Tchouameni would almost certainly ensure Chelsea wouldn’t trigger Saul’s permanent option.
PSG, Man Utd, Liverpool and AC Milan are also namechecked as potential suitors for Tchouameni.
Chelsea target’s release clause revealed
Meanwhile, 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. They do however have other irons in the fire and 22-year-old De Ligt is believed to be another serious option.
Now, 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. 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.”