Report: Chelsea ahead of Liverpool in race to sign £102m player, Tuchel really wants him

Reports from Italy suggest Chelsea are in pole position to sign Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus.

According to Calcio Mercato, the Old Lady are feeling the heat in terms of renewing the 22-year-old’s contract, opening the door for an exit from Italy.

The Dutchman secured his move to Juventus after an imperious spell as Ajax captain, leading them to the Champions League semi-final in 2019.

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Despite not quite living up to the heights expected of him in Italy so far, the Dutchman remains a crucial part of the club’s plans, as they look to tie him down to a new and improved deal.

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However, De Ligt’s hesitance to sign has panicked the Italians, with the Netherlands international rumoured to be only willing to sign if his release clause is lowered.

This has put some of the world’s top clubs on note, with Calcio Mercato stating Liverpool and Manchester City are also interested in a deal.

However, the report claims Chelsea are in ‘pole position’ to sign De Ligt, with it also suggesting the 22-year-old is Thomas Tuchel’s number one target for the centre-back role.

The Blues are in need for investment in a dominant central defender, following the departure of Antonio Rudiger leaving a massive void at the back.

Jules Kounde has already been heavily linked to a move to Stamford Bridge, although late interest from Barcelona threatens to hijack that deal.

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De Ligt would be a dominant force at the back for Chelsea, providing a figure the club can build a defence around for over a decade.

While he may not feature on the left-hand-side where Rudiger appeared last season, he seems to be the perfect replacement as a leadership figure for Thiago Silva, who is set to be preparing for one of his last seasons at the top of the game.

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.