We’re about a week or so into the uncertain state regarding Matthijs de Ligt’s future at Juventus. You could make the argument that it goes back a little longer than that, but the fact that the past seven days have been filled with rumors as well as statements from Juve’s CEO about players who might not want to stay, we’ve never truly seen things involving de Ligt be like this during his three previous years at the club.
And it doesn’t look like things are going to slow down any time soon now that we’ve hit the first days of July.
According to SportItalia’s Alfredo Pedullá on Friday night, Chelsea are preparing to make what he is describing as “the first official bid” for de Ligt. It is very much the kind of bid that Juventus has reportedly been interested in seeing, in that I mean it’s a straight cash offer rather than having a player involved to try and bring down the overall transfer fee. Pedullá says Chelea’s offer, one that they are currently preparing to send Juve’s way, will be for €70 million plus bonuses, although the amount of bonus money was not mentioned. That is still far removed from the nine-figure deal Juve reportedly want for the 22-year-old Dutchman, and even further away from his reported €125 million release clause that has kicked into effect this summer.
Whether you believe this is the first one or if what Sky Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio reported as a player-plus-cash proposal involving Timo Werner right when Chelsea’s interest in de Ligt first intensified is up to you. (For the record, Pedullá and Di Marzio aren’t exactly boys like some of the other people we see in Italy reporting on transfers, so it might not exactly be a surprise to see the former calling his report as “the first official offer” rather than the €45 million plus Werner report from the latter last week.)
(Another side note: Pedullá was very much attune to everything going on at Chelsea during the Maurizio Sarri days and when Jorginho first moved to London, but with all of the turnover at the club over the past few months, who knows just how up to speed he may be this time around.)
Now, if Chelsea are about to table an offer for de Ligt, it very much goes in line with what The Evening Standard’s Nizaar Kinsella reported Friday, stating that Chelsea “having been advancing talks” for the young Dutchman, as well as Raheem Sterling and Nathan Ake, one of the other central defenders they are targeting this summer. Just how much “advancing” means when it comes to negotiations remains to be seen, but if there’s about to be an offer on the table then Chelsea are certainly not letting up in their chase to sign de Ligt no matter how many center backs they’ve been linked to over the last couple of weeks.
From the onset, de Ligt has been one of the preferred options that Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel wants to bring to Stamford Bridge during the current transfer window. And if Maurizio Arrivabene’s comments from earlier in the week during an interview with Tuttosport are any indication, there could very well be plenty of desire on de Ligt’s side to make a move this summer.
But whether €70 million plus bonuses is enough for Juventus to budge remains to be seen. It’s a whole lot of money, but is it enough money for Juve to both deem enough to let go of de Ligt as well as enough for the rebuilding of the defense (and other areas) to be handled.