According to Italian outlet Calciomercato (h/t football.london), Chelsea are eyeing a deal for Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus next summer, and his name is at the top of their list of potential defensive recruits.
The Blues have been impressive defensively under Thomas Tuchel since the German took over from Frank Lampard at the start of this year. The German immediately turned the club’s defence into a back three, something that has continued into this season.
The West London club have kept 4 clean sheets out of 5 Premier League and have only conceded 1 Premier League goal, which was a Mo Salah penalty at the end of last month. Thus, the defence is absolutely resolute, but the Stamford Bridge outfit are keen on adding more quality.
Jules Kounde was targeted by the London outfit this summer but a deal could not be completed before deadline day. The Blues had also apparently tried to negotiate a deal with Paris Saint Germain for Marquinhos, but even that move failed to get off the ground.
Thus, the club are now targeting Dutch international Matthijs de Ligt and have also made the 22-year-old defender the first name on the list of centre-back options they want to sign next summer, according to Calciomercato (h/t football.london).
De Ligt arrived at Juventus in the summer of 2019 in a move worth €75million in initial transfer fees. However, it looks like Chelsea will have to pay a lot more than that to procure the 22-year-old’s services as the Italian club are said to have placed a €120million release clause in his contract.
If the club does complete this signing next summer, de Ligt will automatically become the most expensive signing in the history of British football, provided the Blues or any other English club do not pay a higher transfer fee for any other player.
With Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta in their thirties, de Ligt could add a much more youthful approach to the side and could go on to lead the backline for several years to come. But it remains to be seen if the Blues are in the mood to splurge such an amount on the Dutchman.