Chelsea and Manchester United on red alert with Matthijs de Ligt’s Juventus future uncertain ahead of potential Premier League move for centre-back ‘failed’ over Virgil van Dijk


Chelsea and Manchester United have been put on red alert against Dutch centre-back Matthijs de Ligt, with reports claiming his future at Juventus is in doubt.

De Ligt, 22, joined the Old Lady from Ajax in 2019 for £67.5million but failed to make the impact expected of him in Turin.

Getty

De Ligt is linked with both Manchester United and Chelsea

The Dutch international, who won the Serie A title in 2020, has reportedly asked the club to leave this summer, after deciding that chapter of his career in Italy was over.

According to Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport, a meeting has taken place between the player, his representatives and the club over a new deal, which has reportedly been heated.

The Dutchman will not return to negotiate to stay put and is instead considering a move away from the Turin giants – which has alerted Chelsea and United to his availability.

De Ligt was reportedly unhappy with Juve chiefs trying to insert a £98m release clause into a new contract offer.

The former Ajax star is under contract until 2024, and his current employers want to extend it for another two years.

He has made 117 appearances for Juve so far since signing a five-year contract three years ago, and is currently the team’s highest-paid player, earning a base £7million, which can reach £10 million including bonuses.


De Ligt played under ten Hag at Ajax and had a lot of positive things to say about him

Getty

De Ligt played under ten Hag at Ajax and had a lot of positive things to say about him

A move to Manchester United would see him join former boss Erik ten Hag, with whom he played at Ajax.

De Ligt has already praised the new Red Devils boss in the past.

“He has a lot of qualities. [to succeed]. We’ll have to see how he goes,” De Ligt said of Ten Hag.

“He definitely improves the players. He wants to do everything to make his team play better.

Chelsea are another interested team, with the Blues looking to strengthen their defense this summer after losing Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid and Andreas Christensen to Barcelona.

talkSPORT understands the Blues were keen on Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, before the Frenchman required surgery to solve a long-term injury problem.

Christensen and Rudiger have both left Stamford Bridge and Chelsea need a centre-back

Chelsea F.C.

Christensen and Rudiger have both left Stamford Bridge and Chelsea need a centre-back

De Ligt could now be the man Thomas Tuchel turns to, but the club will have to act quickly if they are to secure his signature.

Manchester United also remain keen admirers of the 37-cap Dutchman, who is likely to be included in Louis van Gaal’s World Cup squad in Qatar in five months.

They could opt for other targets though, having been recently linked with Villarreal’s Pau Torres.

Anyway, with his qualities, De Ligt looks set for the Premier League, and only time will tell if a move to England will happen.

Although it’s something Italian journalist Tancredi Palmeri told talkSPORT he can see happening, saying he would be a particularly good fit for Thomas Tuchel’s side.

Speaking about the Hawksbee and Jacobs defender, he said: “De Ligt didn’t deliver on the promise and potential of his first arrival. He came and he really looked like a Virgil van Dijk in the making, but ready, because he’s came as he reached the semi-finals of the Champions League with Ajax.

De Ligt was tipped as the next Van Dijk, but fell short of his international teammate's heights

Getty

De Ligt was tipped as the next Van Dijk, but fell short of his international teammate’s heights

“It looked like everything was fine, everything would be fine, the best defender in the Champions League, let’s see.

“But in some ways he still has to adapt to Italian football. He’s made terrible mistakes. He seems to like volleyball a lot, because it seems that every two games something happens with his hand, a penalty or something, or sometimes just madness for the ball. I don’t know, maybe he has gigantic hands, that guy.

“I must say he has improved. Not as expected, but he has improved slightly.

“When he arrived the promise was so good that Juventus signed him for €85m and he had this release clause which started from €120m but every two years it would increase. So now, if you want to automatically sign De Ligt with his release clause, that now stands at €125m.

“But his value is far from that. I think it’s worth around 60 million now, so let’s say you have to spend around 70 million to get it.

De Ligt shot to fame at Ajax, but his career stalled at Juventus

GETTY

De Ligt shot to fame at Ajax, but his career stalled at Juventus

“Juventus want to be tight and say, ‘No, that’s the money it costs on paper, so give us that money’ – but they’ll never get that money.

“At the same time I said last week to be careful because Chelsea are coming to shop in Italy. They have lost a lot of players to free agents which means they need players available but not very expensive.

“De Ligt is forcing his exit because already for six months he has been saying: ‘I feel like this stage of my career is now over and I have to move on.’

“Chelsea have lost Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen and they need to sign someone in defense and someone who is available, and I think Tuchel likes the kind of defender De Ligt is.

“Juventus play looking back [defensive-minded]but Tuchel plays looking ahead [attacking-minded] – that’s how De Ligt was brought up at Ajax, so maybe he could perform better at Chelsea than at Juve.

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