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Matthijs de Ligt hands in transfer request as Chelsea join race for the Juventus defender 

Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt has handed in a transfer request as he looks to force an exit amidst interest from Chelsea, according to Corriere dello Sport

The Dutchman completed a £67 million move to the Turin giants back in 2019 after captaining Ajax to the domestic double and cementing himself as one of Europe’s biggest rising stars.

Juventus and De Ligt have been in contract renewal talks in recent weeks as the Old Lady look to tie down the defender beyond 2024, when his current contract runs out. 

However, talks between both parties have broken down and the 22-year-old has put potential suitors on high alert by submitting a transfer request. 

Chelsea have joined the race for the Juventus centre-back as they look to plug the holes left at the defensive end of the pitch ahead of the new campaign. 

Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger have both jumped ship this summer, while Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso could follow suit as Barcelona consider swooping for the Spanish duo. 

The Blues have been linked with several defensive replacements, including Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, who was close to joining the north London outfit last summer. 

While Chelsea are believed to have now struck a verbal agreement with the Frenchman, they are still seeking proper reinforcement in Matthijs de Ligt. 

Thomas Tuchel is reportedly a firm admirer of the Juventus defender, but his hefty £103m release clause is a huge obstacle in any potential deal.

The Stamford Bridge outfit will be willing to offer either Timo Werner or Christian Pulisic — who have both been linked to Juventus — in exchange as they look to lure De Ligt away from Italy, per Tuttosport.

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