Matthijs de Ligt should turn down Chelsea in favour of Bayern Munich transfer, ex-Tottenham star says | Football

Matthijs de Ligt should turn down Chelsea in favour of Bayern Munich transfer, ex-Tottenham star says | Football
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Matthijs de Ligt has a big decision to make this summer. (Photo by Rene Nijhuis/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Rafael van der Vaart says Matthijs de Ligt should opt for Bayern Munich over Chelsea this summer as he considers his options ahead of a possible departure from Juventus.

The Blues need to reinforce their rear-guard this summer having lost both Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen on free transfers, leaving them with just Thiago Silva, Trevoh Chalobah and Malang Sang as recognised first-team centre-half options.

They have been linked with a variety of new defenders including the likes of Nathan Ake, Kalidou Koulibaly and Jules Kounde, but interest in de Ligt appears to be strongest, with talks over a transfer fee having already taken place with Juventus.

22-year-old De Ligt, signed for Juventus from Ajax in 2019 after impressing in the Dutch club’s run to the UEFA Champions League semi-final under new Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag’s leadership.

De Ligt was signed in order to help Juventus transition to a new era with its playing squad, but the team has struggled in the past few seasons, and its decade of dominance in Serie A has come to an end. Now the player has reportedly told the club’s hierarchy that he wants to leave.

But interest from Bayern Munich has emerged too, and Van der Vaart believes that his compatriot would be better served by joining the Bavarian giants.

‘I would be happy for Matthijs,’ Van der Vaart told Sport1. ‘It would be the right move for him. He is a fantastic player who is good with the ball. He is young, but already a top defender. And also a good person. Matthijs would be a perfect fit for Bayern.’

Bayern have lost centre-back Nicklas Sule on a free transfer to rivals Borussia Dortmund this summer, and Van der Vaart believes De Ligt would represent a significant upgrade on the Germany international.

‘I’ve never been a big fan of Sule,’ Van der Vaart explained. ‘If you replace him with De Ligt, you will certainly improve. De Ligt is clearly better. It is a transfer for the future.’

epa10027969 Sadio Mane (C) poses with the team's shirt with Bayern Munich CEO Oliver Kahn (L) and Bayern Munich Chairman of the Supervisory Board Herbert Hainer at a press conference during his presentation as a new signing for Bayern Munich, Munich, 22 June 2022. The Senegalese international left Liverpool FC after six years to join the German champions on a three-year contract. EPA/MARTIN DIVISEK

Sadio Mane has already been added to the Bayern Munich squad this summer. (Credits: EPA)

Julian Nagelsmann’s side have already been active this summer, bringing in forward Sadio Mane from Liverpool in a deal worth around £35m. Van der Vaart says that adding De Ligt to their squad would be a warning to rivals across the continent.

‘Mané is a top acquisition, but if you also bring in De Ligt, that is ideal,’ Van der Vaart added. ‘Bayern always have a smart transfer policy. No excessively large transfers, but a well-thought-out policy. Bringing in Mané and De Ligt would be an impressive statement towards the Bundesliga and the rest of Europe.’

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