Exclusive: Chelsea transfer target makes major contract ultimatum to current club

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Chelsea may have been given a huge transfer boost as they continue to monitor Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt as one of their options to strengthen at centre-back.

Writing in his CaughtOffside column, Fabrizio Romano claims that the Blues have been monitoring De Ligt for some time, even though Sevilla star Jules Kounde remains their priority target in defence this summer.

There’s been an interesting development with De Ligt, however, as the Netherlands international will only sign a new contract with Juventus if they lower his release clause, which is currently set at €120million.

De Ligt’s current deal expires in 2024, so there could soon be pressure for Juve to bow to these demands, and it will be interesting to see how that affects Chelsea’s interest in the near future.

Matthijs de Ligt transfer situation explained

Matthijs de Ligt in action for Juventus

Writing in his exclusive column for CaughtOffside, Romano says: “Matthijs de Ligt’s current release clause is valid for €120m, while the contract expires in June 2024. Juventus are now negotiating with the Dutch defender to extend the contract until 2025 or 2026, but De Ligt has told the club that he will only sign a new agreement if the release clause is lowered.

“So far for Barcelona, who have financial problems, it is too expensive a deal for them to seriously consider at the moment. Chelsea have been monitoring De Ligt for months, but the priority at the moment is Jules Kounde.”

Kounde is another top player, but De Ligt is arguably more proven at the highest level, and, besides, there is also surely room for another top defensive player to come in at Chelsea this summer.

The west London giants have both Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen out of contract at the end of this season, while the ageing Thiago Silva surely cannot carry on playing week in, week out for much longer. From that perspective, it certainly seems worth keeping an eye on the De Ligt transfer situation in the weeks and months ahead.

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