Fabrizio Romano has given CaughtOffside some exclusive insight into Chelsea’s search for a new centre-back this summer, with Matthijs de Ligt now the priority over Jules Kounde.
The Blues have been dealt the blow of losing both Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen as free agents this summer. With Thiago Silva turning 38 in September, it certainly seems essential to get one or two other defensive players in to ensure Thomas Tuchel’s side can remain competitive.
It seems Chelsea’s interest in Sevilla defender Kounde was mainly under Marina Granovskaia, but with new owner Todd Boehly now the driving force behind the club’s recruitment, it seems Juventus ace De Ligt is the new priority.
“Matthijs de Ligt is the priority for Chelsea and contacts will continue this week with Juventus,” Romano writes in his exclusive CaughtOffside column.
“A new proposal from Chelsea is expected to try to get closer to the request of the Italian club. There are real possibilities because De Ligt wants a move to the Premier League, but an agreement will have to be found with Juventus.
“Jules Kounde remains an option but was a priority for Marina Granovskaia, while Todd Boehly now prioritizes other targets and therefore Kounde is lower on the list.”
De Ligt transfer could be huge for Chelsea
If CFC manage to get De Ligt in, it could be a big statement by the club as they look to get back to their best.
2021/22 ended up being a bit of a disappointment, with Tuchel’s side losing both domestic cup finals to Liverpool on penalties, whilst failing to come that close to retaining their Champions League crown.
That European Cup win under Tuchel in 2020/21 was built on a solid defence, and De Ligt coming in to replace Rudiger seems ideal to help Chelsea put something similar together again.
Some fans may be disappointed that Kounde is no longer a priority, but De Ligt is another elite young player who could become a real leader at the back for years to come at Stamford Bridge.