'It’s surprising': Italian journalist says he would be shocked if Chelsea managed to sign £67m ace

Gianluca Di Marzio confessed the confusion he would feel if Chelsea decided to move for Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt.

Speaking to the Football Daily, the Italian journalist said the sale of De Ligt to the Blues or anyone else right now could only be described as ‘surprising.’

The 22-year-old has been at Juve since 2019, following the £67.8m (Sky Sports) switch from Ajax.

Photo by Ivan Romano/Getty Images

His performances in the Champions League specifically caught the eye of the Serie A side, who dropped off a suitcase full of cash at the Dutch door for their centre-back.

It is still up for debate whether the trade was right or the price fit the player.

Contract talks continue to scare

De Ligt still divides opinions as a member of the Juve clan.

Hence why there are some reports linking the Netherlands international with a transfer away from the Allianz Stadium, with the next destination potentially Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea’s own centre-halves are causing some panic amongst the chain of command.

Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Cesar Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva are all out of contract next summer.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Whilst it seems likely Azpilicueta and Silva will sign new deals, Rudiger and Christensen are not close to extending their stay.

Relinquishing one or both of the mainstays in Thomas Tuchel’s team would be a major loss.

Shock on the Chelsea cards?

De Ligt’s signing could ease the pain of several departures from South West London.

Yet, Di Marzio suggested this particular handover is not yet on the cards for two reasons.

“Juventus needs to have De Ligt in their future because Juventus has an old defence,” he said.

“(Leonardo) Bonucci and (Giorgio) Chiellini are super but they are not young anymore. So, it would be surprising if Juventus were to sell De Ligt, the future of Juventus.

Photo by Daniele Badolato – Juventus FC/Getty Images

“And for me, it’s surprising that Chelsea are asking for new defenders.

“They have Thiago Silva, who I think will sign a new contract. (Trevoh) Chalobah, Azpilicueta, (who) they have to renew (his contract). Christensen, Rudiger.

“So, it depends on what happens with Rudiger, Christensen and all these players who are out of contract.”

Bonucci and Chiellini are certainly not spring chickens anymore.

With a combined age of 72, the two Italian stalwarts are reaching the end of their illustrious careers.

Juve need to plan for the future. De Ligt can be that beacon of light, unless Chelsea have alternative plans.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.