Chelsea dealt Matthijs De Ligt transfer blow as Man City open talks with Mino Raiola

Thomas Tuchel post Brentford 0-1 Chelsea

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Chelsea’s have been dealt yet another blow in their hunt for a new centre-back, as Matthijs De Ligt’s agent Mino Raiola has reportedly opened talks with Manchester City about a potential move for his client.

Chelsea have been handed a blow in their hunt for a new centre-back, as Matthijs De Ligt’s agent Mino Raiola has reportedly opened talks with Manchester City.

The European Champions thought they had signed Jules Kounde this summer, but Sevilla bumped up their asking price for the Frenchman, causing a deal to fall through, while Antonio Rudiger could be leaving the club next summer.

Rudiger is into the last year of his Chelsea contract, and so far no new deal has been agreed, leaving Thomas Tuchel potentially short of defensive options ahead of next season.

De Ligt was thought to be on Chelsea’s radar, but the defender is reportedly in contact with City instead.

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The Dutchman signed for Juventus in 2019 after captaining an Ajax side that enjoyed a golden generation, reaching the Champions League semi-final before losing in the final seconds against Tottenham.

The 22-year-old is a regular starter for Juventus and is very much a part of the Italian giants’ future, but De Ligt’s agent thinks differently, and according to Calciomercato, Raiola has had some contacts with the top European clubs, including Pep Guardiola’s City.

However, De Ligt has a €150m (£126.5m) release clause, and Juventus don’t want to let the player leave and they are ‘not willing to grant discounts’ for the 22-year-old according to the report.

This means that if City or any club want to sign the former Ajax captain, they have to pay his big-money release clause.


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The report also suggests that Juventus don’t appear too worried, as manager Massimiliano Allegri does not believe that many clubs will be in a position to offer such a huge figure following a worldwide pandemic.

It is thought that Chelsea’s original target Kounde has a much cheaper release clause of £68.5m, making it more likely that if Tuchel is to sign a new defender, they will return for the Frenchman rather than negotiate with Juventus.

Rudiger has become a star under Tuchel, establishing himself as one of the Premier League’s best defenders in 2021, but as his performances have improved, interest has increased in the 28-year-old.

If Chelsea can’t convince the German to re-sign, Rudiger is free to speak to new clubs as soon as January, and Thiago Silva is expected to follow him out of Stamford Bridge.

Silva is also into the final year of his contract, and the 37-year-old veteran is expected to leave the club at the end of the season, as he considers retirement.

This will leave Chelsea extremely short after already selling both Kurt Zouma and Marc Geuhi to fellow Premier League sides this summer, meaning that ahead of next season, the Blues could be short of four centre-backs.

Young stars Malang Sarr and Trevoh Chalobah have broken into the side this season, and produced a fine display as Chelsea kept out a dominant Brentford side during a 1-0 victory on Saturday,

However, Tuchel may decide that Chelsea are in need of another centre-back to ensure they have enough options available should Rudiger leave the club next summer.

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