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The representatives of Juventus central defender Matthijs de Ligt have decided to stop transfer discussions with Chelsea due to Bayern Munich’s interest in the player, according to reports in Germany. The Netherlands international appears to be on the move this summer after three seasons in Turin but the Blues have plenty of work to do in order to wrap up a transfer.
Chelsea appeared to be the frontrunners for De Ligt just a week ago before Bayern entered the race for the highly-rated 22-year-old.
Thomas Tuchel has seemingly identified De Ligt as his top defensive target but Chelsea are now being rivalled by the Bundesliga champions, who are now in pole position to agree a deal.
According to Bild in Germany, De Ligt’s agents have now stopped talks with Chelsea as Bayern prepare to negotiate a transfer with Juventus.
Bayern are now making a lucrative play for the former Manchester United target and Julian Nagelsmann has already held talks with De Ligt.
There are mixed reports on De Ligt’s preferred destination of choice and whether he would favour a move to England or Germany.
Chelsea have already held talks with Juventus over a deal but Bayern are now looking to steal a march on their transfer rivals.
After wrapping up the signing of Sadio Mane, Nagelsmann’s side are ready to make another statement of intent to the rest of Europe with a marquee acquisition at the back.
De Ligt is keen to explore a new challenge due to Juventus’ lack of progress having recently missed out on their second successive Serie A title.
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Chelsea have prioritised the signing of Jules Kounde for the past two transfer windows but to no avail.
The Blues remain keen on Kounde but Sevilla are at risk of pricing them out of a deal.
They are currently demanding £60m for the Frenchman after already selling Diego Carlos to Aston Villa earlier in the window.
Kounde is also a target for Barcelona and will be represented by super-agent Jorge Mendes this summer.
It has been speculated that Bayern have already offered around £63m for De Ligt but those reports are believed to be wide of the mark.
On Wednesday, there was a meeting in Milan between Bayern director Hasan Salihamidzic and Juventus chief Federico Cherubini to discuss a potential transfer for De Ligt.
As it stands, the two parties are seemingly far apart in terms of their valuation of the Dutchman, with Bayern yet to table a formal offer.
Chelsea are looking to sign two centre-backs this summer after losing Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen and they will need to move fast if they are to beat Bayern to De Ligt.
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