Sky journalist claims Chelsea will sign a ‘world-class’ defender, confirms interest in £103m centre-back

Kaveh Solhekol has definitively claimed that Chelsea will sign a ‘world-class’ defender this summer as they prepare for life without Antonio Rudiger.

The journalist claimed on Sky Sports News that the quest could lead them to striking a deal for Juventus’ Matthijs de Ligt, mentioning reports today that their interest is real.

The club not being able to operate as a business for the majority of the last few months didn’t allow them to offer a new deal to the German, who elected to join Real Madrid on a free transfer.

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This, alongside the departure of Andreas Christensen has left the Blues short of talent at the back, with versatile Cesar Azpilicueta also rumoured to be on his way out.

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The list of potential signings at the back is long, with Sevilla’s Jules Kounde notably being targeted by the club for a long time now.

Solhekol has reported that De Ligt is another name who fits that bill, claiming that interest has been confirmed by Sky Italy today.

He said: “According to Sky Italy, Chelsea are interested in signing him. I think it would be a difficult deal to pull off – he has a release clause of £103m and Juventus would want that release clause paid.

“Now we do know Chelsea are looking for a centre-back, De Ligt has been a long term target, but there are other targets as well they are looking at. Jules Kounde at Sevilla is someone they have been looking at for a very, very long time.

“What we do know is that Chelsea will sign a centre-back this summer. They will sign somebody and I think it will be somebody world-class. De Ligt definitely fits the bill and according to Sky Italy they are very interested in him.”

He went on to suggest that talks may be happening imminently, with the Dutchman’s agents already set to meet the club.

He said: “What’s interesting is he’s got the same agents as Paul Pogba. Those agents today are in Milan speaking to Juventus, so we’re just putting two and two together and thinking after they’ve finished talking about Pogba, will they also talk about Matthijs de Ligt?”

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Chelsea announcing a deal for De Ligt would certainly be a statement as they enter their new era under Todd Boehly.

The deal for Kounde has dragged on for months now, and even at this late stage there are reports that the transfer is about to be hijacked by Barcelona. Because of this, they may be encouraged to muster up the money for the Dutchman, in order to get names in the door for the understaffed defensive roles.

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.