Chelsea and Barcelona dealt final blow in De Ligt pursuit

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith 17 May 2022 18:53 CEST 3 min read
Matthijs de Ligt, Juventus, 2021/22

Following the news of Giorgio Chiellini's departure, Juventus have acted fast in an attempt to ward off any interest in Matthijs de Ligt.

The Dutch international joined Juve from Ajax in 2019, leaving in the same summer as Frenkie de Jong joined Barcelona, and currently has two years left on his deal at the Turin club.

Chiellini was substituted after 17 minutes against Lazio, to represent the number of year he spent at the club, while Paulo Dybala also broke down in tears in his final home game for the team.

However, with Chiellini departing, Juventus are keen to extend De Ligt's contract and tie him down longer term. According to Sky Sport, a two-year extension has been tabled, and will be signed, which will keep the defender at the club until 2026.

The 22-year-old has been linked with a move away from Juventus in recent months, with Chelsea and Barcelona both registering an interest. The Bianconeri were reportedly willing to accept an offer of €85 million for De Ligt before contract negotiation talks begun, which was being considered by Chelsea and Barcelona.

De Ligt to stay put

Calciomercato reported earlier in 2022 that Chelsea were well-positioned to make a move for the Dutchman, but a transfer never materialised. With Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, and potentially Cesar Azpilicueta all leaving this summer, there is a shortage of centre-backs at Stamford Bridge, but they won't be able to call upon the services of De Ligt to fill that hole.

Matthijs de Ligt was wanted by Chelsea earlier this year

Matthijs de Ligt was wanted by Chelsea earlier this year

As things stand, Juventus will have De Ligt, Daniele Rugani, Leonardo Bonucci and the returning Merih Demiral as centre-back options next season, so they are also in a slight crisis in regards to that position, just like Chelsea. They sold Christian Romero to Atalanta last summer, before Atalanta shipped him off to Tottenham for a handsome profit, which they may come to regret.

However, they have made it clear that De Ligt's future lies in Turin rather than elsewhere in Europe, ending any pursuit from Chelsea or Barcelona, who will have to look further afield.

Chelsea have already identified Jules Kounde as a target, while Barcelona have been linked with the aforementioned Christensen and Azpilicueta.