Matthijs de Ligt explains what happened in Chelsea transfer before sealing £68m Juventus exit

Todd Boehly looked all across Europe to sign new defenders for Chelsea in the summer. Kalidou Koulibaly and Wesley Fofana were signed for a combined fee of £100million after Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger left the Blues at the end of the 2021/22 season. understands that Matthijs de Ligt, Presnel Kimpembe and Josko Gvardiol were all on Chelsea’s shortlist for defensive signings in the summer. Juventus were reluctant to sell the Dutch defender but De Ligt was adamant that he would not sign a new deal to stay in Turin.

Chelsea had been tipped to make a move for the 23-year-old but he eventually signed for Bayern Munich instead. The Blues reacted by securing a deal for Koulibaly before eventually signing Fofana from Leicester for £70million.

De Ligt helped his nation progress into the World Cup quarter-finals with a 3-1 win against the USA, but denied that he came close to signing for Chelsea in the summer after the game. Juventus were approached by the Blues but the Dutch defender ended up leaving for Germany in a £68million deal.

Speaking to the Evening Standard after the win against the USA, De Ligt said: “Yes, but that wasn’t to do with me [transfer to Chelsea]. I had my sights on Bayern.”

“It wasn’t close with me but maybe [it was between] the clubs. Honestly, I didn’t speak to them this summer.

“There were a lot of rumours that didn’t come from me. [Bayern] is amazing, I am having a nice time there.

“It feels like home after many months. I think the way I played with Bayern gave me the opportunity to play the first game [of the World Cup] so I feel made a good decision and I am really happy there.”

De Ligt has made 18 appearances for Bayern in all competitions so far this season but has only started 14 of those matches. The Dutch defender admitted he feels “sorry” for Juventus after he left the Italian giants in the summer, seeing how they’ve performed in Serie A this season.

The entire board resigned on Monday and there are concerns that the Serie A giants could sell off talent to try and balance the books. De Ligt said of the situation: “It is quite difficult to see because Juventus has amazing supporters.

“They have an amazing team so I feel sorry for them and hopefully it is not too bad. It was asked to me if that’s the reason I left but that’s not the case. It was just a sporting decision so I feel sorry for the club and fans.”

Chelsea will be hoping that missing out on De Ligt does not impact their season too heavily after securing deals for Koulibaly and Fofana.

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