Chelsea target £130m Juventus defender Matthijs De Ligt after having a £43m summer bid for Jules Kounde rejected – as Thomas Tuchel looks to bolster his defence

  • Thomas Tuchel still wants to strengthen his defensive options at Chelsea
  • They tried to buy Sevilla’s Jules Kounde in summer but £43m bid was rejected
  • Now Chelsea have added Matthijs De Ligt to their list of defensive targets
  • Holland centre-back’s £130m release clause comes into effect in the summer
  • Juventus want the 22-year-old to agree to a new contract prior to then  


Chelsea have turned their attention to Juventus central defender Matthijs De Ligt after failing to sign Jules Kounde during the summer transfer window.

Thomas Tuchel‘s team have impressed during the early weeks of the season but there remains a desire to strengthen at the back.

The European champions targeted Kounde but Sevilla rejected their £43million offer and held firm on his £68m release clause.

Juventus have turned their attention to signing Juventus defender Matthijs De Ligt (right)

Juventus have turned their attention to signing Juventus defender Matthijs De Ligt (right)

Dutch defender De Ligt scored for Juventus in their 3-2 win at Spezia on Wednesday night

Dutch defender De Ligt scored for Juventus in their 3-2 win at Spezia on Wednesday night

Chelsea are now exploring a potential move for Holland international De Ligt, whose release clause set at £130m becomes active at the end of this season.

Juventus would like 22-year-old De Ligt to commit to a new contract, having invested £67.8m plus add-ons when they signed him from Ajax in 2019.

De Ligt represents an expensive option for Chelsea, but his age is a bonus. They retain an interest in Kounde, while are also interested in PSG’s Marquinhos and Bayern Munich’s Niklas Sule as potential options.

Much depends on whether Antonio Rudiger signs a new contract at Stamford Bridge. The German’s deal expires at the end of the season and he has interest from Bayern, PSG and Real Madrid. 

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is still keen to strengthen his options in defence

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is still keen to strengthen his options in defence 

Having let Kurt Zouma leave in the summer and with Thiago Silva now 37, Tuchel knows that defensive reinforcements will be needed sooner rather than later.

Chelsea’s summer move for France international Kounde, 22, was dependent on Zouma’s departure from the club. Zouma joined West Ham in a £29.8m deal just before the deadline.

Sevilla’s sporting director Monchi said: ‘We weren’t satisfied with the offer, and it was linked to Chelsea selling a player. It was a decent fee but it didn’t meet our criteria.’

While Rudiger’s future remains uncertain, Danish defender Andreas Christensen is set to sign a new £120,000-a-week contract with Chelsea. 

Chelsea failed in their efforts to sign £68m-rated Sevilla defender Jules Kounde in the summer

Chelsea failed in their efforts to sign £68m-rated Sevilla defender Jules Kounde in the summer





Daily Mail

By EDITOR

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