Chelsea and Liverpool are the two favourites to sign Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt, according to Leggo.
The Italian newspaper reports that the two Premier League clubs are “in the lead” to snap up the Dutch international, if the player doesn’t sign a new contract.
Juve are keen to extend de Ligt’s stay in Italy until 2026 (his current deal expires in 2024), but the main stumbling block in negotiations is believed to be disagreement over the player’s release clause.
The buyout fee currently stands at €125m (£107.5m) and it will increase to €140m (£120m) next summer, but de Ligt and his agent, Rafaela Pimenta, want this figure reduced to just €80m (£69m).
At the moment, the Bianconeri are unwilling to accept this demand and while a “new meeting” between the two parties is expected soon, the release clause issue is a key obstacle to any agreement.
Chelsea are known to be keen admirers of de Ligt, and it will be interesting to see whether chairman Todd Boehly will test the waters with a bid in the coming weeks.