Chelsea are reportedly willing to splash out £102million to sign Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt in 2022. The Blues fought hard to try and sign a centre-back over the summer but were unsuccessful, leaving the Premier League giants to consider new additions in the upcoming January and summer transfer windows.
Chelsea tried extremely hard to sign Jules Kounde from Sevilla before the August 31 deadline, but the Spanish club were unwilling to accept their £43million offer.
The transfer snub came after the Blues had already sold Fikayo Tomori to AC Milan and Kurt Zouma to West Ham, leaving Thomas Tuchel’s squad potentially short at the back.
With Thiago Silva now 36 and set to be out of contract at the end of the season, a new younger defender is a clear priority for Chelsea in 2022.
Following the snub by Sevilla for Kounde, the club has reportedly turned their attention to Juventus centre-back De Ligt.
And they are so keen to sign the Dutchman that they are willing to pay £102m (€120m) for his signature, according to AS.
Asked about the futures of his two clients, De Ligt and AC Milan defender Alessio Romagnoli recently, Raiola told Tuttosport: “The two are among the best defenders in Europe. De Ligt has a contract, while Romagnoli ends his contract in 2022.
“I think they could play together in Turin, but watch out: Matthijs de Ligt is one of the best centre-backs in Europe. He could leave Juve at the end of the season. The market works like this.”
De Ligt himself has played down speculation over his future, insisting he is happy where he is and is learning from experienced boss Allegri, who is in his second spell at Juve.
“I feel good, I feel good with Allegri too,” De Ligt said.
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“He has a lot of attention for the defensive phase, it’s very important, I worked a lot and I’m happy.”
Juventus have come under a lot of criticism this season, with De Ligt among those singled out, but Allegri has called for calm and suggested the former Ajax player will develop at the club over the long run.
“He is 22 years old, he is very good and the club paid a lot for him,” he said.
“Someone spoke of him as a future Ballon d’Or [winner], but you have to be calm. Juve’s shirt weighs heavy.
“Chiellini, at 20, was perhaps worse than him, but at 28 he became a great player. De Ligt has the characteristics to play many years at Juve, but his future does not depend on a single game.”