Chelsea owner Todd Boehly can’t save Matthijs de Ligt deal as new details kill hopes

Chelsea's 2022-23 Premier League fixtures

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Chelsea owner Todd Boehly will likely have to accept defeat in the club’s pursuit of Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt this summer. Newly emerging details suggest a Stamford Bridge switch is off the cards, with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich stealing a march on the Blues.

Thomas Tuchel had identified De Ligt as his priority centre-back target ahead of making as many as three additions in the position. The German head coach is keen to replace Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, while Cesar Azpilicueta’s future remains in the air amid interest from Barcelona.

But Chelsea look primed to miss out on the 22-year-old, who has reportedly agreed personal terms with Bayern amid stalling contract talks with Juventus. And Boehly has learned new information that suggests he should move on to other targets while the Bavarian giants are on the hunt.

According to Bild, even if Chelsea offered him more money to snub Bayern for a move to the Premier League, his heart is set on an Allianz Arena arrival in the summer transfer window. The report states the Dutchman would even take a pay cut to force his move through.

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Chelsea have reacted to De Ligt’s stance by accelerating their interest in a deal for Napoli behemoth Kalidou Koulibaly. The Blues have agreed personal terms with the 31-year-old and are preparing an improved offer worth £34million after an initial £30m bid was rejected by the Serie A club.

Boehly is also pressing on with attempts to secure Nathan Ake’s return to west London from Manchester City. And there have been suggestions the Blues could look to complete a third defensive signing after Koulibaly and Ake, with Azpilicueta’s future uncertain and Thiago Silva needing a long-term replacement.

Chelsea are the only top Premier League club yet to make a single summer signing, despite Boehly’s intention to back Tuchel with as many as six new arrivals ahead of his first full season as the club’s owner. However, the first is expected through the door this week in Man City forward Raheem Sterling.

The 27-year-old is travelling to Los Angeles to join Tuchel’s pre-season camp in Los Angeles after Chelsea agreed a £50m deal for his signature. Chelsea want another forward on top of Sterling, but Koulibaly could be the next to follow and complete a long-speculated Premier League switch.

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