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Chelsea have been handed a boost in their pursuit of Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt.
Thomas Tuchel’s side have seen both Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen depart as they look ahead to a defensive rebuild this summer.
The German, Rudiger, has been officially announced as a Real Madrid player as Christensen remains without a club but looks increasingly like joining Barcelona.
As things stand, the Blues head into the new season with Thiago Silva, Cesar Azpilicueta, Malang Sarr and Trevoh Chalobah as senior defenders from last season still in the squad.
The likes of Levi Colwill and Ethan Ampadu will return from loan spells and look to impress.
However, it is clear that Chelsea will be in the market for at least two central defenders this summer.
It appears that, of the names listed, Chelsea have been handed a boost in the pursuit of one man in particular - De Ligt.
Speaking to Tuttosport, Juventus CEO Maurizio Arrivabene admitted that the Dutch defender could depart from Turin this summer.
When asked about De Ligt, he admitted: “It's impossible to keep players when they want to leave the club - but all the three parties in the negotiations have to be satisfied.”
The 22-year-old has been identified as a target this season, jumping ahead of Kounde as the Blues’ priority.
The Italian side are keen to include a player in the deal for De Ligt this summer, as Chelsea are prepared to offer Timo Werner.
There are set to be as many as six incomings this summer, with Tuchel and Chelsea identifying De Ligt as a target for the future.
They must now test the waters with Juventus and attempt to come to a mutual agreement to allow the player to make the switch to Stamford Bridge.
It remains to be seen as to what price the Italians will settle for, with De Ligt looking likely to leave for the Premier League in the transfer window.
The Blues will then push on and look to make another defensive signing as Tuchel hopes to challenge at the top of the league next season.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy