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Saturday, March 25, 2023

Matthijs de Ligt on Premier League clubs, Barcelona Radar

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Premier League top clubs Chelsea and Liverpool have joined Barcelona in the race to sign Juventus centre-back Matthijs de Ligt.

The Italian giants have offered a contract extension to the defender, but there are still question marks over whether he will put pen to paper on the new deal.

Juventus will lose veteran defender Giorgio Chiellini, who is all set to depart the club this summer with his future still unclear. But Chiellini might not be the only one leaving, with clubs lining up for de Ligt’s signature. The Bianconeri are, however, preparing to hold on to the Dutch defender.

Juventus have offered de Ligt a two-year extension on the current contract, which is set to expire in 2024. However, de Ligt’s entourage are looking for a decrease in the current release clause, which stands at €125 million, a figure that could put off potential suitors. But as per Calciomercato, the defender could leave Juventus even after signing an extension.

Barcelona have been long-term admirers of the 22-year-old and were in the market for his signature before Juventus snapped him up from Ajax in 2019. De Ligt has since made 116 appearances for the Serie A giants, winning a league title, an Italian Cup and an Italian Super Cup in three seasons and has been a mainstay at the heart of defence even with the presence of Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci.

Chelsea have also joined Barcelona in de Ligt’s pursuit. The Blues are set to lose up to four of their first-team defenders. While Andreas Christensen is all set to join Barcelona, Antonio Rudiger is on his way to Real Madrid.

Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso have also been linked with moves to Barcelona. Chelsea, thus, are in desperate need of defensive reinforcements, and de Ligt is one of the names on their transfer wishlist.

On the other hand, Liverpool are eager to add depth to their squad to continue challenging for silverware and are ‘thinking’ of making a move for the Dutch defender. Though the 22-year-old is not planning to leave the Serie A giants right now, a future move to Liverpool cannot be ruled out if there is a deduction in his current release clause

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