Chelsea set to hijack Man Utd move for Serie A No.4 defender

Chelsea are favourites to beat Manchester United in the race to secure services of Juventus centre-back Matthijs de Ligt.


The 22-year-old defender forms an integral part of Massimiliano Allegri’s backline, which has recently been depleted by Giorgio Chiellini’s departure and move to MLS side Los Angeles.

However, De Ligt is about to enter the final two years of his current deal with Juve, and a host of interested teams are keeping a watchful eye over the situation.

The Netherlands international has also refused to rule out the prospect of a move elsewhere, saying: “Talks are being held and, when the time comes, I will decide whether I will extend or whether I want to look elsewhere,” as quoted by 90Min.

“I always look at what is best for myself in terms of sporting project. Fourth place, two years in a row, is not good enough. We will have to make steps in that direction. Personally, this was my best year so far. In terms of playing time and the way I played.

“The club have said that to me and I have shown this season, when Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci were injured, what I am capable of. I had to take the lead and it went well. I think that’s the next step.”

Manchester City, Chelsea and Man Utd have all been credited with an interest in De Ligt, however, according to Calciomercato, it is the West London club who are currently leading the charge.

The Old Lady are believed to be in constant contact with Rafaela Pimenta over the prospect of a new contract for the defender, however, he will have to take a financial hit to pen fresh terms.

De Ligt is believed to earn a yearly wage of €11m (£9.5m) in Turin, however, a fresh deal – which would end in the summer of 2026 – could see him earn €8m (£6.9m) per year.

Furthermore, Serie A giants are also supposedly trying to cut his release clause down to €80m (£68.9m) from €120m (£103.4m), and teams would be able to trigger that option in 2023.

The defender has posted a total of eight goals and three assists in 117 appearances for Serie A giants, Juventus over the past three years, winning one Serie A trophy, the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana in the process.