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Chelsea 'add Matthijs de Ligt to centre-back shortlist'

:Headline: Chelsea 'add Matthijs de Ligt to centre-back shortlist':
Chelsea are reportedly still continuing to monitor any developments surrounding the future of Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt.
Sports Mole

Chelsea are reportedly still contemplating whether to make an approach for Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt this summer.

With Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen departing on free transfers and speculation remaining regarding the futures of Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso, the Blues are in the market for new defensive-minded players.

If reports are to be believed, Jules Kounde is their first-choice option at centre-back, the Sevilla man likely to cost in the region of £50m if a deal is successfully negotiated with the Spanish side.

However, head coach Thomas Tuchel will want at least one more fresh face for the middle of his backline, resulting in him scouring the market for new additions.

According to talkSPORT, the Premier League club are still admirers of Netherlands international De Ligt, whose future at Juventus has come into question recently.

Since joining from Ajax for £67.5m in 2019, the 22-year-old has made 117 appearances in all competitions, retaining his spot in the starting lineup during 2021-22.

Nevertheless, the Netherlands international has reached a stage where he has just two years left on his contract, leaving Juventus in an increasing vulnerable position.

Speaking over the weekend, De Ligt told NOS: "There are talks ongoing between me and Juventus. Once the right moment arrives, I will decide to extend or to look further."

According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, an important aspect of any new proposal could be the lowering of a release clause, one which currently stands at €120m (£102.5m).

Despite Tuchel allegedly having a big transfer warchest at his disposal, the German is highly unlikely to give the green light to the new Blues hierarchy meeting that figure.

That said, another transfer expert in Alex Crook told talkSPORT: "Sources in Italy are suggesting that Chelsea are interested in Matthijs de Ligt at Juventus.

"I think that Jules Kounde is their top target, I would expect that to happen, but they probably do need more than one."

Chelsea have been linked with other world-regarded defenders, including Villarreal's Pau Torres who is said to have a release clause that is half the size of De Ligt's.

Josko Gvardiol had also been on their radar, but it appears that RB Leipzig have no intention of selling a player who they only signed last summer. body check tags ::

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