Chelsea have reportedly been handed a blow in their pursuit of a new centre-back, as Matthijs De Ligt’s entourage Mino Raiola has reportedly begun talks with Manchester City.

The Blues thought they had purchased Jules Kounde this summer, but Sevilla raised their asking price for the French ace, causing a reported deal to fall through, while Antonio Rudiger could be quitting the club next summer.

He is into the last year of his Stamford Bridge contract, and thus far no new deal has been agreed, leaving manager Thomas Tuchel potentially short of options at the back ahead of next season.

Matthijs was thought to be on the club’s radar, but the defender is allegedly in contact with City instead.

The Dutchman joined Juventus in 2019 after captaining his boyhood club Ajax that enjoyed a golden generation, reaching the UEFA Champions League semi-final before losing in the final seconds versus Tottenham.

The 22-year-old ace is a regular starter for I Biaconeri and is very much a part of the Italian side’s future, but De Ligt’s representative thinks differently, and according to Calciomercato, Mino has had some contacts with the elite European clubs, including Pep Guardiola’s side.

However, Matthijs has a €150m (£126.5m) buy-out clause, and his club don’t want to let the player depart and they aren’t willing to grant discounts for him, according to the report.