Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt has reportedly informed Juventus of his intention to leave the Serie A for the Premier League, a development that could potentially explode into a massive transfer story this summer.
According to a front page report by Italian sports daily Corriere dello Sport journalist Roberto Perrone, de Ligt has rejected a renewal offer from Juventus and has instead communicated his desire to leave.
“No to renewal … the Dutchman has asked for a transfer. Matthijs De Ligt, the most expensive defender in Italian football, wants a change of scene,” the report, titled ‘De Ligt wants the Premier League’, reads.
In the report, Perrone explains that the “bomb exploded yesterday” during a meeting between Juventus officials and de Ligt’s agent, Rafaela Pimenta, who has taken over the duties of late super agent Mino Raiola.
The report goes on to cite Paul Pogba’s impending arrival in Turin as one of the reasons behind the need for departures from Juventus.
Perrone also claims that de Ligt, who joined Juventus for €85 million in 2019, is not pleased with his €115 million release clause, but had his request to reduce it to €80 million turned down by Juventus.
“The Dutchman has asked for a transfer and now Chelsea and Manchester United are in pole position,” the report adds, emphasizing de Ligt’s dissatisfaction with Juventus.
While the 22-year-old is indeed one of the best young centre backs in the modern game, signing him would be an expensive affair for any club, given the Dutchman’s steep release clause and his €8 million plus €4 million (in bonuses) annual salary package.
Although both Chelsea and United have the financial means to sign de Ligt, it’s likely that any move for the Dutchman will depend on the clubs’ requirements, given his steep price tag.
While United do not need a new centre-back, at least on paper, Chelsea are in the midst of a defensive shake up, with the likes of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen departing the club.
Although it remains unclear whether the Blues will move for de Ligt, a move by Chelsea is more likely than one by United, with the Red Devils reportedly prioritising the signing of a midfielder this summer.