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Chelsea 'making progress in Matthijs de Ligt talks'

Chelsea 'making progress in De Ligt talks'
© Reuters
Chelsea are reportedly making progress in their efforts to secure a deal for Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt.

Chelsea are reportedly pressing on with their efforts to secure a deal for Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt.

Despite Thomas Tuchel's desire to freshen up his first-team squad, the Blues are yet to make any additions in response to Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger and Romelu Lukaku all departing Stamford Bridge.

However, owner Todd Boehly is now looking to be proactive when it comes to bringing in fresh faces, the bid to sign Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling said to be the furthest down the line.

Nevertheless, Chelsea's current priority is in defence, and speculation persists that De Ligt has emerged as their first choice to strengthen their backline.

Previous reports have suggested that Chelsea would prefer to include either Christian Pulisic or Timo Werner in any proposal for the Netherlands international.

Chelsea's Timo Werner celebrates scoring their first goal with Christian Pulisic on January 8, 2022© Reuters

According to CBS Sports reporter Ben Jacobs, Juventus would prefer to receive just cash for a player who they signed for £67.5m in 2019.

That said, it has been claimed that the Italian giants are prepared to marginally lower their valuation for the 22-year-old in a bid to find a resolution which suits all parties.

Chelsea are allegedly open to paying up to £65m for de Ligt, a significant improvement on reportedly wanting to spend £34.4m in a player-plus-cash proposal.

Despite that figure being much closer to Juventus' asking price, Jacobs adds that it may take an approach closer to £70m to complete a deal with the likes of Pulisic or Werner involved.

Matthijs de Ligt in training on March 15, 2022© Reuters

At one stage, Juventus had been hoping to extend the player's contract past the end of 2023-24, but Juventus CEO Maurizio Arrivabene previously hinted that a parting of the ways looked most likely.

Speaking to Tuttosport, Arrivabene said: "It's impossible to keep players when they want to leave the club - but all the three parties in the negotiations have to be satisfied."

Although Chelsea seem to be focused on trying to negotiate a deal for De Ligt, a number of other defenders have been linked with a switch to West London.

The Premier League outfit have a long-standing interest in Jules Kounde, but they are yet to agree terms with Sevilla over a transfer which would cost in excess of £50m.

While Nathan Ake is also said to be on Tuchel's shortlist, it has been suggested that Manchester City are against parting ways with the versatile left-sided player.

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