August 10, 2022

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Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt has emerged as a key transfer target for Chelsea (Picture:...
Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt has emerged as a key transfer target for Chelsea
Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt has emerged as a key transfer target for Chelsea (Picture: Getty)

Chelsea have been given fresh hope of signing their primary defensive transfer target Matthijs de Ligt.

The Netherlands international joined Juventus from Ajax three years ago, amid much fanfare, but he has largely failed to live up to expectations and justify his £67.8m transfer fee.

De Ligt is reported to have informed Juve of his desire to leave this summer amid strong interest from Chelsea.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 22: Christian Pulisic of Chelsea during the UEFA Champions League Round Of Sixteen First Leg match between Chelsea FC and Lille OSC at Stamford Bridge on February 22, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
Christian Pulisic could be used in part exchange to fund a move for Matthijs de Ligt (Picture: Getty)

The Blues are desperate to sign new defenders following the high-profile departures of Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudige, who both left as free agents earlier this summer.

Thiago Silva, meanwhile, turns 38 in September, leaving Trevoh Chalobah and Malang Sarr as the club’s only other recognised senior central defenders.

Juventus have already turned down Chelsea’s offer of €40m (£34.4m) million plus Timo Werner for De Ligt.

Nathan Ake is close to rejoining Chelsea from Manchester City
Nathan Ake is close to rejoining Chelsea from Manchester City (Picture: Getty)

And according reports, Chelsea are now including Christian Pulisic as part of their negotiations for the 22-year-old.

Juventus would prefer to sign Pulisic ahead of Werner, while Chelsea are reluctant to trigger De Ligt’s €120m (£103m) release clause.

It’s understood that Juventus wanted €70m (£60.3m) plus Werner for De Ligt, or an outright €100m (£86.4m) fee for the Dutch defender.

Regardless of the negotiations, however, Juventus CEO Maurizio Arrivabene insists it is ‘impossible’ to keep a player who wants to leave.

He said: ‘It’s impossible to keep players when they want to leave the club – but all the three parties in the negotiations have to be satisfied.’

Chelsea are also close agreeing a fee with Manchester City that would see Nathan Ake return to Stamford Bridge, while the Blues are also increasingly confident of completing the signings of Raheem Sterling and Raphinha.

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MORE : Raphinha’s agent spotted at Barcelona’s office after Chelsea agreed £55m fee

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

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