Chelsea ‘start concrete negotiations’ for top Tuchel target as Serie A side lower €120m demand

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Chelsea target Matthijs de Ligt runs with the ball Credit: PA Images
Chelsea target Matthijs de Ligt runs with the ball Credit: PA Images

Chelsea have reportedly ‘started concrete negotiations’ for Matthijs de Ligt after Juventus lowered their asking price for the centre-back.

De Ligt has made 118 appearances in all competitions in his three seasons with Juventus following his €75m move from Ajax.

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The Serie A side have been pushing for the 22-year-old to extend his contract beyond 2024, with the club in ‘continuous contact’ with his agent, Rafaela Pimenta.

The Old Lady want to extend his deal by a further two years, reducing his salary from €11m to €8m per year, while lowering his release clause from €120m to €80m, which can be activated next year.

But De Ligt is unwilling to agree to those demands and now looks to be on his way this summer.

Chelsea have been most heavily linked with the defender and a report on Monday claimed they were hoping to complete a deal for just €70m, but that hope, along with the idea of offering a player in exchange, now appears to have been dismissed.

Tuttosport (via Sport Witness) claim Chelsea must ‘make an offer that matches the request of Juventus’, who ‘aren’t interested in technical counterparts’ and want €100m in ‘pure cash’.

Although that figure is €20m below De Ligt’s release clause, Chelsea are reticent to offer that much and will return with a bid of ‘€75m plus a dozen more in bonuses’, which is ‘still not enough’.

But Corriere dello Sport have confirmed that De Ligt’s sale ‘no longer seems to be postponed’ and Chelsea ‘have started a concrete negotiation after months of courtship’.

Juventus are ‘waiting to receive the call’ from the Blues but there is no sign they will lower their €100m demand; the report claims that ‘wall must at least be touched if not broken’.

The Serie A giants now want De Ligt’s sale ‘as quickly as possible’ and hope Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool or Paris Saint-Germain can be lured into a bidding war.

The article Chelsea ‘start concrete negotiations’ for top Tuchel target as Serie A side lower €120m demand appeared first on Football365.com.

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