Chelsea interested in Juventus centre-back Matthijs de Ligt, reports Sky in Italy.
The 22-year-old Dutch defender has a £103m (€120m) release clause in his contract with Juventus, which is due to expire in 2024, and the club will only accept offers close to that mark .
Juventus club chiefs met with De Ligt’s agent Rafaela Pimenta on Thursday mainly to discuss Paul Pogba’s potential return to Turin.
Chelsea are looking for defensive reinforcements this transfer window, having seen Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen leave when their contracts expire.
Juventus agreed to pay an initial fee of €75m (£67.8m) over five years at Ajax for De Ligt in 2019, making him the most expensive defender in club history. the Italian elite.
De Ligt – Ajax’s youngest ever captain – led the Eredivisie club to a league and cup double that year, while also taking them to the Champions League semi-finals in which they lost to Tottenham in the dying seconds in Amsterdam.
He played 87 times for Juve in Serie A, winning the division in 2019/20 despite not going past the Champions League last 16.
‘Lukaku deal means Chelsea can press play for starters’
Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol:
“The deal will be done and Lukaku also gets his wish. He returns to Inter Milan. Obviously, Chelsea paid £97.5m for him and the move didn’t work out. Inter are paying a £7million loan fee and he’s also taking a pay cut of around 35% to return to Inter because that’s what he wants to do.
“It’s good news for Chelsea that this situation has been sorted out because they can really press the game now when it comes to signing players. We know they want to sign a centre-back because Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger have left.
“Sky Italy tell us they are very interested in signing the centre-back from Juventus Matthijs de Ligt. His situation is a bit complicated as he still has two years left on his contract but Chelsea would like to sign him. He has a release clause of around €120m – there’s no way Chelsea will pay that kind of money for him.
“Another defender they are interested in is Jules Kounde in Seville. They’ve been trying to sign him for a very long time – I wouldn’t be surprised if there were any major developments on that front. They are interested in Richarlison, Raphinhalong term goal Declan Rice who would be very difficult to sign but now that Lukaku has been settled expect to see a lot of deals done by Chelsea.”
Chelsea games: Lampard’s Everton first, then Spurs
Chelsea kick off 2022/23 season with trip to Everton from Frank Lampard live sky sports before hosting London rivals Spurs in their first home game.
Thomas Tuchel’s side face a meeting with Blues legend Lampard at Goodison Park on August 6, kicking off at 5.30pm, before Tottenham visit Stamford Bridge a week later.
Chelsea will host Liverpool in west London on September 17, Manchester United on October 22 and Arsenal on November 5.
Their final game before the month-long World Cup break is at Newcastle, and they continue their campaign on Boxing Day against newly promoted Bournemouth.
Chelsea travel to Tottenham on February 25 and Arsenal on April 29, the latter marking the start of a bumper of the last five games, including Manchester City away on the penultimate weekend of the season and Newcastle at home on the final day.
Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports
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