Chelsea-linked Serie A star ‘ready for new step’, says Raiola

Will Ford
Mino Raiola Man Utd
Mino Raiola

Matthijs De Ligt is ‘ready for a new step’ according to his agent, Mino Raiola.

De Ligt has been linked with a move to Chelsea as Thomas Tuchel faces a crisis in the heart of his defence.

Four of the Blues centre-backs – Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Cesar Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva – are out of contract at the end of the season.

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The club are optimistic that Silva will extend his deal, but clubs have been heavily linked with both Rudiger and Azpilicueta, while there are also doubts over Christensen remaining at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea will likely return to Sevilla with a fresh offer for Jules Kounde, after they agreed personal terms with the Frenchman in the summer.

But should more than one of the out-of-contract stars leave, Tuchel will require further reinforcements in that area of his squad.

One defender to be linked with Chelsea is De Ligt, who joined Juventus from Ajax in 2019 but has found the transition to Serie A difficult.

With Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci still performing at a high level, the 22-year-old has struggled for consistent game time.

Chelsea would have to stump up significant funds for the Netherlands international, who moved to Juve for £77million.

But they will have been encouraged by Raiola, who recently told NRC (via TEAMtalk) that his client “is ready for a new step… he thinks that too.”

Meanwhile, Gary Neville says Thomas Tuchel, despite having “credit in the bank”, will be a “little bit worried” about his future at Stamford Bridge.

Neville said: “I know it’s a club that does things very differently, but I’d hate to think that Thomas Tuchel is under pressure and they’re thinking of making a change, I can’t believe that to be the case.

“I think he’ll be a little bit worried. I think mentally when you try to get a game called off and you’re then told to play it, I can’t think that will help the mindset in that game.

“I know they didn’t have a full bench, and we’ll have to ask later why more young players couldn’t come onto it, but it was a strong Chelsea team.”