It’s a tried and trusted move and has been ever since 2003: name-drop Chelsea with interest, get a better contract from your current club. The latest to be using this unimaginative yet still effective method is Matthijs De Ligt — or to be more accurate, his agent, Mino Raiola.
Chelsea supposedly made an “inquiry” for the 22-year-old center back back in May, and while that was rejected, we’ve reportedly retained interest — which does makes sense given the uncertain futures of most of our center backs at the moment.
However, the latest report from Tuttosport (via Sport Witness) now claims that De Ligt and his agent are in contract extension talks with Juventus. The Bianconeri are desperate for him to sign a new deal, even though his current one is good through 2024. And while they cannot actually afford a pay-rise, Raiola is willing to strike a deal that involves adding one more year to the contract but reducing the release clause to something more reasonable than the €120m it currently is.
Win-win, right? Juve get some security, De Ligt gets some exposure to the market, and Raiola pockets a large percentage of whatever fees and bonuses get negotiated on the side.
These talks however are said to be at a very early stage, so this is probably not the last we hear of De Ligt. Not by a long shot.