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Chelsea are in pole position to sign Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt this summer, according to reports in Italy.
The 23-year-old looks ever closer to departing Italy, after criticising the ‘sporting project’ in Turin.
“There are ongoing conversations between me and Juventus. Right now I am focused on how I perform on the pitch, once the right moment arrives I will decide to extend or to look further,” he revealed.
“I look at the sporting project. Ending fourth in a row for two years in a row is not good enough, Juventus knows this too. So being Juventus, we have to make steps. I’m a Juventus player so I’m focused on that.”
The Dutch defender has a €120 million release clause in his current deal with Juventus, one which he is keen to lower if he were to sign a new contract in Italy.
However, an extension is now looking more unlikely than a permanent transfer this summer.
Jurgen Klopp’s side could look to reunite Virgil Van Dijk with de Ligt, with the pair making a formidable partnership for the Netherlands national team.
Any deal to see the defender depart this summer depends on whether he is willing to ‘postpone everything for a year’ rather than decide to depart this summer.
Juventus wish to renew his contract but would be open to selling him.
The sale would leave ‘a huge void’ but have ‘a lot more money to reinvest’.
With both Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen departing Stamford Bridge this summer, reinforcements are required.
It remains to be seen as to who will join Tuchel’s side, with several names linked.
The Chelsea head coach admitted that the Blues attempted to sign Sevilla defender Jules Kounde last summer, and could return for him once more.
Speaking last season, he said: “It was clear we tried for Kounde and Saul and it was very, very late but it was a very, very smooth transfer window because I had full concentration on training and on my team.
It has now been revealed by Spanish news outlet Marca that the player, and his side Sevilla, are waiting for Chelsea’s new internal structure to be decided before talks continue.
De Ligt could join the French international at Stamford Bridge next season as Tuchel looks to rebuild his defence.
Levi Colwill could return from his loan move at Huddersfield Town and try to earn his place in the line-up.
Ethan Ampadu is also in line to return for pre-season as he looks to impress the Blues boss.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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