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Chelsea unperturbed about costs to sign Matthijs de Ligt

Chelsea are unperturbed about the costs to sign Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt this summer, Corriere dello Sport (today’s edition, page 7) reports.

The west London giants are currently loaded with central defensive options, but the scenario could completely change at the end of the campaign.

Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta have entered the final six months of their contracts and could leave on free transfers.

Meanwhile, Thiago Silva will be 38 during the first half of next season, and the Blues need to find a long-term replacement for the Brazil international.

They could be tempted to pursue more than one centre-back this summer. It appears De Ligt is one of their prime targets for the next transfer window.

The Netherlands international has a hefty €125 million release clause in his contract, but it is reported that the Bianconeri could be willing to accept less.

The Serie A giants could sanction his sale for around €100m. They still owe €30m to Ajax which is due to be paid over the next two years of his contract.

De Ligt has not shown any desire to leave the Bianconeri, but his ‘high wage’ demands to extend his stay beyond June 2024 could lead to his departure.

The Blues are unworried about the costs for the 22-year-old, who is seen as someone they could build their defence around for the best part of the next decade.

De Ligt had an indifferent start to his Juventus career, but he has now established himself as an undisputed starter in central defence under manager Massimiliano Allegri.

His passing success rate and aerial ability are his main strengths. There is still room for improvement. He tends to mistime tackles and struggles with long balls.

At his age, there is plenty of scope to make progress. His arrival at Stamford Bridge could see the Blues revert to Thomas Tuchel’s preferred 4-2-2-2 system in future.

Tuchel has regularly deployed a back three since his arrival. He has looked to change things around this year, playing with a ‘double-six’ formation as he often refers.

Aside from De Ligt, the Blues have been heavily linked with Sevilla’s Jules Kounde. They failed with multiple approaches to sign him during last summer’s transfer window.

Bayern Munich’s Niklas Sule has also emerged as a potential target after it was confirmed that he would not extend his contract with the German champions beyond June.

It could be a busy summer ahead for the Blues. The onus is likely to be on bolstering their options at the heart of the defence for an improved challenge for the league title.

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