Chelsea plotting a €120m transfer for Dutch star: The best option to lead their defence?
Chelsea have reportedly identified Juventus star Matthijs de Ligt as their top defensive target next summer.
The Blues broke their transfer record to sign Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan in the past transfer window, but failed to grant their manager Thomas Tuchel’s wish for a centre-back. Tuchel was keen on signing Sevilla’s Jules Kounde but the European champions failed to meet the Frenchman’s £68 million release clause.
According to Italian news outlet Calciomercato, Chelsea have moved on from Jules Kounde and have switched their attention to Juventus centre-back Matthijs de Ligt.
Matthijs de Ligt, 22, joined Juventus from Ajax in the summer of 2019, signing a five-year contract. The Netherlands international has gone on to make 80 appearances across all competitions for Juventus, scoring six goals, including the winner in the club’s latest dramatic 3-2 victory over Spezia in the Serie A.
As per a report from another Italian news outlet Tuttosport, De Ligt has a €120 million release clause in his contract which will be activated from next summer, meaning if Chelsea are opening to paying his buyout clause and the player is keen on a move, there’s not much the Serie A giants will be able to do in that scenario.
Matthijs de Ligt to Chelsea—The best option to lead their defence?
Chelsea have started the new Premier League campaign in top form, winning four and drawing one of their opening five games. The Pensioners deserve to be at the summit but what is most impressive about them is they have kept four clean sheets to date, excluding the one against Zenit in the Champions League.
The likes of Antonio Rudiger, Thiago Silva and Andreas Christensen have all impressed in the early weeks of the new season. Academy ace Trevoh Chalobah has been promoted to the first team, with the 22-year-old filling the gap left by Kurt Zouma in the summer.
Yet, with Rudiger, Christensen and Silva out of contract at the end of the season, Chelsea could find themselves short as far as the options at the back is concerned next season. Thus, the German tactician’s wish to reinforce his backline makes complete sense and the club could do well by providing him with a central defender. In that regard, Matthijs de Ligt would be a top choice.
De Ligt, rated as one of Europe’s best young defenders, has been an ever-present in the Juventus backline since arriving from Ajax.
The 22-year-old is a technically gifted player with excellent ball-playing skills and aerial ability. A vocal leader, he can initiate attacks from the back and is an asset to have at both ends of the pitch, as demonstrated by 20 goals scored in his career so far.
Due to the Dutchman’s exceptional talent, high potential and superb leadership skills, Chelsea must not hesitate to trigger his €120 million release clause next summer. Despite being just 22, De Ligt is certainly one of those sought-after young talents in world football worthy of such a mammoth fee.
Chelsea have not spent big money on a young and talented centre-back for a while, but De Ligt is perhaps the ideal long-term option who can eventually become the leader of their defence in the near future