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Mino Raiola claim prompts Chelsea to switch centre-back targets to £70m man

Chelsea are reportedly ready to make a move for a Juventus centre-back following comments from the player’s agent Mino Raiola.

Matthijs de Ligt, who has been linked with Premier League clubs before, has been touted for a possible move to Stamford Bridge after Raiola suggested the Dutch defender could quit the Turin club at the end of the season.

De Ligt was wanted by Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool before completing a £70m move from Ajax to Juve in 2019. He was just 19 at the time and initially struggled adapting to Italian football.

However, the imposing defender has taken his game to another level over the past year. That has prompted strong Premier League links once again.

Thomas Tuchel has been in the market for another centre-back ever since his arrival at the club.

He allowed Fikayo Tomori to move to AC Milan on a permanent deal, while Antonio Rudiger is stalling over penning a new contract. Veteran star Thiago Silva is also in the closing stages of his career.

Sevilla’s Jules Kounde has long been Tuchel’s top target, but the Blues refused to pay the asking price for the 22-year-old.

Recent reports, however, suggest that the London club are looking to reignite their interest in January.

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Chelsea given De Ligt green light

However, the Sunday Express states that Chelsea are now ready to make a move for De Ligt.

The news come after Italian outlet Tuttosport quoted Raiola as saying: “Matthijs de Ligt is one of the best centre-backs in Europe.

“He could leave Juventus at the end of the season. The transfer market sometimes works like this.”

For his part, the player has previously indicated that he is happy at his current club, working under boss Max Allegri.

“I feel good, I feel good with Allegri too,” he recently said.

“He has a lot of attention for the defensive phase. It’s very important. I work a lot and I’m happy.”

It now remains to be seen whether Chelsea will be in the market for a centre-back again come January, and whether it will be Kounde, De Ligt or another name in the frame.

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