Chelsea’s talks to sign Juventus star Matthijs de Ligt are reportedly progressing well with Thomas Tuchel looking to add valuable quality and experience to his back line, according to reports.
Chelsea have already lost Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen on free transfers this summer in a huge blow to the start of their Premier League campaign. With a reported £200million war chest to use this summer, Tuchel is set to spend heavily on defensive reinforcements in a bid to finally challenge for the Premier League title after being ravaged by injuries last season.
De Ligt has been touted as a potential purchase over the summer alongside other stars including Nathan Ake, Jules Kounde and Kalidou Koulibaly, although Juventus’ refusal to budge on a valuation initially scuppered hopes of a deal. Yet according to the Daily Telegraph, talks have progressed well for the former Ajax star - with a transfer to London looking more likely for the youngster due to his willingness to move.
The report states that negotiations are progressing in a positive manner, alongside a move for Manchester City star Nathan Ake. The duo are ‘high up on Chelsea’s immediate agenda’ as the German boss looks to replace the stars he will lose over the coming days when free agents join with new teams.
De Ligt is understood to be keen on a move to the Premier League giants as contract talks broke down with Juventus over a potential release clause. The Serie A side have softened their £102m valuation on the Dutchman which has made a prospective transfer more realistic.
Another key aspect of the deal is that Chelsea are willing to allow Christian Pulisic and Timo Werner as pawns in a bid to bring the total price of the move down. The duo have failed to show consistency since their moves to west London and Tuchel could look to use them as makeweights in order to bring De Ligt to the club.
And that could have serious implications for Sevilla, with central defender and long-term Chelsea target Jules Kounde more likely to stay in Spain - though reports state that the Andalusian club saw his potential sale to the Blues as ‘essential’ to their business this summer. Tuchel spoke out about the club’s failure to sign Kounde last season which ultimately affected their squad depth in a paltry season.
“We were in contact and Petr Cech (technical and performance advisor) was in contact. Us three, we knew about all the situations,” Tuchel said. “We knew things can happen, things can happen late, and we were also very aware of the situation that, maybe, nothing happens at all.
“I assured everybody that I’m also happy if we cannot bring a player in. We will find the solution within the squad. We will push players within the squad. But 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.”