Report: £103m player has now handed in transfer request, Chelsea are leading race to sign him

Chelsea target Matthijs de Ligt has reportedly handed in a request to leave Juventus this summer.

According to Corriere Dello Sport, the Dutchman’s decision has made the Blues one of the favourites to be his club for next season.

The decision to want to leave has come after a three-year spell in Turin, after joining the club from Ajax.

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The Dutch side had seen the breakthrough of De Ligt, with him becoming the youngest captain in Champions League knockout history, as his side reached the quarter-finals in 2019.

De Ligt made 42 appearances last season, as they finally began to establish himself as a guaranteed first choice centre back at the Old Lady.

However, his reported desire to lower his release clause of £103m in his new contract was not accepted, leading the 22-year-old to hand in a transfer request, according to Corriere Dello Sport.

They claim Chelsea lead the race to secure a deal for De Ligt, alongside Manchester United and former manager Erik ten Hag.

The signing would go some way to addressing the club’s serious concerns at the back, following departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensesn this summer.

With Cesar Azpilicueta’s future still firmly up in the air, the need for an elite defender is desperate at Stamford Bridge.

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De Ligt holds a great status in the game at the age of just 22, and has the skills on the ball required to flourish in Chelsea’s system.

The reported release clause is likely to be too high for the Blues to pay, so negotiating the price will be key. Therefore, this deal could potentially pose the first big test for Todd Boehly at the club, as he is set to take the reins on transfers at the club for this summer at least.

Jack is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has freelanced for The Athletic and The Sun. Jack has reported live from Premier League and Championship grounds, whilst also being published in the Non League Paper.