Chelsea want Juventus’ Matthijs de Ligt to resolve defensive crisis and could offer Timo Werner as counterweight due to £100m asking price


Chelsea are keen to sign Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt but a deal will be difficult to complete, according to talkSPORT football correspondent Alex Crook.

The Dutch international could finally be on the move after a difficult career so far in Italian football, with his current deal expiring in 2024 and an extension stalemate.

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De Ligt’s big-money move to Juve didn’t go to plan but he’s still wanted by a number of top sides

Chelsea are desperate for signings after losing Rudiger and Christensen

Chelsea are desperate for signings after losing Rudiger and Christensen

Unsurprisingly, a number of Premier League sides are interested in the former Ajax captain, who impressed when he took the Amsterdam side to the Champions League semi-finals in 2019.

Thomas Tuchel’s Les Bleus are in the game after losing centre-backs Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen in the summer, but a deal looks complicated.

Crook told the Saturday session: “The problem you have is he won’t be cheap, the release clause he has in his contract is worth over £100m.

“I think Chelsea have around £200m to spend on new signings this summer, so I think it would be a big step for them to spend half that on one player.

“What we’re hearing from sources in Italy is that Chelsea are willing to spend around £40m and possibly include Timo Werner in return for parts.

“I’m always a bit dubious about these player-plus-cash deals because you don’t get too much of it, it’s quite complicated to convince a player to sign but to convince another player to go in the opposite direction…


Boehly could try to force Werner in Italy

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Boehly could try to force Werner in Italy

“I think it’s a tough deal to make, I think if Thomas Tuchel could get De Ligt, because let’s face it, Chelsea have problems in that area, they have problems in almost every area at the moment.

“I think he would like to sign him, but at the moment I doubt a deal is actually possible.”

The Blues have been heavily linked with Sevilla’s Jules Kounde over the past year, but as Crook explains, the club are now in a different place.

“Todd Boehly has effectively made himself the de facto director of football, I’m not convinced that’s a path to success,” he said.

“I think Marina Granovskaia has been a fantastic operator for the club.

“I think it’s a very different Chelsea than under Roman Abramovich, money wasn’t an issue, you had an owner who was almost just a willing benefactor, so I think the days when Chelsea were just throwing money on a problem may have been behind them.”

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