Matthijs de Ligt leaves door open for Chelsea with transfer decision ‘in next 72 hours’

Chelsea's 2022-23 Premier League fixtures

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Matthijs de Ligt’s future will be sorted by Sunday at the latest, according to reports. Chelsea are keen on signing the Juventus defender but Bayern Munich are currently his preferred destination.

Chelsea are in desperate need of new defenders this summer. Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen have both left at the end of their contracts, while doubt continues over the future of captain Cesar Azpilicueta.

Sevilla’s Jules Kounde remains a target but De Ligt has emerged as a priority for Thomas Tuchel. Juve are willing to sell the Holland international for the right price.

Italian outlet CalcioMercato claims Bayern are willing to bid up to £84.7million (€100m) for De Ligt, with £67.8m (€80m) the bare minimum Juve would entertain offers for the 22-year-old. The door has not been shut on Chelsea though, despite Bayern being De Ligt’s preferred destination.

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It appears it will be a straight shootout between the two European giants for his signature. And the report, which was published on Thursday afternoon, says De Ligt’s future will be sorted within 72 hours.

Therefore Chelsea are set to know by this weekend whether they will be successful in luring the player to west London. Tuchel does have alternative targets besides France star Kounde.

Manchester City’s Nathan Ake is being targeted with a potential return to Stamford Bridge. Meanwhile, Napoli stalwart Kalidou Koulibaly is also mentioned as a potential alternative to De Ligt.

Bayern legend Lothar Matthaus recently backed the club’s pursuit of De Ligt. Matthaus compared the defender to his international team-mate Virgil van Dijk.

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He told Bild: “He’s a van Dijk type. He can take on the role of defence chief at Bayern, which is missing there.

“He’s one of the best central defenders in Europe, and at 22 he’s such a young player that Bayern could have done with that position for the next few years. A super transfer if it works – a huge gain.”

Meanwhile, Chelsea are yet to make any signings under Todd Boehly’s ownership. However, that is set to change with the arrival of Raheem Sterling from Manchester City.

Chelsea are set to pay City £45m for the England international. Sterling has agreed personal terms ahead of signing an expected four-year contract with the Blues.

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