£84m-rated star ‘flattered’ by Chelsea transfer interest, has decided to ‘change teams’ – report

Matthijs de Ligt

Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt is flattered by the interest from Chelsea ahead of the summer transfer window, Sport Mediaset reports.

The Netherlands international is currently in his third campaign with the Bianconeri, and it may end up being his last amid his desire to move on.

The 22-year-old is contracted until June 2024, but the report claims that he has ‘already decided to change teams’ at the end of the season.

It is added that he is flattered by the advances of Barcelona and Chelsea, and his departure could be facilitated by Juventus’ plan to lower their wage bill.

De Ligt is the club’s top earner with an annual salary of £6.7m plus £3.3m in bonuses (easily achievable).

Ideal signing for Chelsea

De Ligt has been linked with the Blues on numerous occasions, and it was recently claimed that the hierarchy are unperturbed over the costs of a summer transfer.

He has a release clause worth £105m (€125m) on his contract, but it has been reported that the Bianconeri could be convinced by a package of around £84m (€100m).

The Blues have plenty of central defensive options at the moment, but the scenario could change this summer as there could be several players heading for the exit door.

Andreas Christensen

Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta have entered the final five months of their contracts, and they could all leave on free transfers.

In such a case, Thiago Silva, Trevoh Chalobah and Malang Sarr would be the only senior centre-backs. The Blues could pursue at least one new player for the role.

De Ligt would be a top-class signing for Chelsea with his excellent distribution, strong aerial ability and tendency to clear his lines with good efficiency in the box.

Tackling is not one of his strongest suits, but he tends to make up for it with his superb positioning and ability to intercept play to negate potential scoring situations.

Chelsea should have the financial firepower to meet the reported valuation for the Dutchman, having broken their transfer record twice over the past four years alone.

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