Five times English Premier League champions Chelsea have entered the race to sign Juventus center-back Matthijs de Ligt.
The Blues are still in search of new defenders to strengthen their back four area after losing Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid on a free transfer this summer.
Thomas Tuchel has revealed his desire to have Matthijs de Ligt in his squad next season but the Dutchman has two years left on his contract with Juventus and a €120 million release clause.
However, Chelsea have already reached out to Juventus for a possible transfer but no offer has been submitted by the English side at the time of publishing this report.
Juventus, on the other hand, are clear about their future with the defender as they still want him to remain with them, at least until his contract expires in 2024, and maybe hand him a new one.
Matthijs de Ligt currently has a €120 million ($127 million/£103 million) release clause but may be able to leave the Bianconeri if he decides against signing a new contract.
De Ligt disclosed earlier this month that he was in contract negotiations with the Serie A giants. He has also demanded that the Italian team prove they can advance beyond their fourth-place position from the previous year before he would agree to a new contract.
“Negotiations are ongoing at the moment and when the time comes I will decide whether to extend or look elsewhere. I always look at what is best for me in terms of the sporting project,” Matthijs de Ligt said.
“Two consecutive fourth-place finishes are not enough, we have to make progress in that direction because these are disappointing results.”
The Netherlands international star joined Juventus from Ajax in 2019 and has made 117 appearances in all competitions, scoring a total of 8 goals.
Chelsea are among the teams in Premier League which haven’t signed a player yet, compared to their top rivals Liverpool, Manchester City, and Arsenal.
The Reds broke their transfer record to sign Darwin Nunez from Benfica just five months after securing the services of Luis Díaz.
Also, Manchester City have strengthened their team by signing Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund and Alvarez from River Plate. The Premier League champions are set to complete a deal for Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Philips and are in talks with Brighton left-back Marc Cucurella.
Chelsea’s London neighbors Arsenal recently announced the signing of Fabio Vieira and would soon finalize the signing of Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City.
In the same vein, Manchester United are currently in talks with Barcelona over the signing of Frenkie de Jong.