Chelsea in advanced talks with 6 ft 2 in Dutch defensive rock

Barcelona are facing stiff competition from the London giants in the battle to sign Matthijs de Ligt in the summer transfer window. However, neither club is going to sign the Netherlands international anytime soon, with Juventus knocking back an approach from both the European clubs.

De Ligt has long been regarded as one of the most talented young centre-backs in Europe. Matthijs, who first raised eyebrows when he not just became a mainstay at the back for Ajax but also became club captain while still in his teens, has continued his upwards trajectory in Turin, becoming a regular feature for the Old Lady.

To date, the 21-year-old defender has featured 71 times for Bianconeri, even chipping in with 5 goals and 2 assists. But with Juventus struggling to end the season inside the top four, speculation around the Dutch centre-back’s future has been growing.

There is no shortage of interest in Matthijs either, as illustrated by the fact that both Barcelona and Chelsea have made an approach to Juventus. Blaugrana are set for a defensive overhaul as they plan for life without Gerard Pique, who is in the final phase of his career.

Furthermore, there are question marks around the futures of French duo Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet, which is why the interest in Matthijs makes sense despite the fact that Eric Garcia is also expected to arrive from Man City.

In recent weeks, it had been suggested that Barcelona were ready to approach Juventus for de Ligt, which has now proven to be the case. However, Barcelona are not alone in pursuit of Matthijs, who is also being courted by Chelsea this summer, and for good reason.