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Matthijs De Ligt hands in transfer request at Juventus; Chelsea in pole position — reports

That’s a spicy rumor meatball!

UEFA Nations League - League Path Group 4”Press conference The Netherlands” Photo by ANP via Getty Images

We interrupt your regularly scheduled rumor-mongering to report that there’s been a rupture! Nay, an explosion! Don’t worry, it’s just proverbial. No actual explosives involved.

But apparently a meeting between (the representatives of) Matthijs De Ligt and Juventus went rather badly last night, and instead of an agreement over a four-year contract extension, it’s resulted in a transfer request from the 22-year-old! Oopsies!

Corriere dello Sport were the first to report this, but now it’s all over the Italian media.

A major part of the disagreement was (is) supposedly the release clause in the contract, which De Ligt wants lowered from €120m to €70m. Juve have countered with lower wages, and you can see how things devolved from there. And while De Ligt thus still has a nine-figure release clause, for now, it’s suggested that if someone were to test the waters with a €70-90m bid, Juve might be willing to call it a day for all this Raiola-esque (RIP) drama.

De Ligt certainly isn’t going to fly under any team’s radar (City, Real, PSG, etc), but two are said to be jockeying for pole position — Chelsea “in particular”, with the new owners ready with the fireworks according to the report. (Other reports claim that Chelsea are “ramping up” and have made the “most concrete” offer thus far.) Manchester United and new head coach Erik ten Hag (De Ligt’s former coach at Ajax) are also looking to dabble in the pyrotechnics.

That’s a ton of money either way, but if we are to make a splash and make a splash in our greatest position of need, this would be quite a way to do it. It would probably eclipse spending a similar amount on Jules Koundé in terms of turning heads at the very least. As ever, spending (big) only on the best of the best is a good policy (quality over quantity) — filling out the rest of the squad from the Academy.