Chelsea switch transfer approach after Matthijs de Ligt hit | Football

The Blues risk being dazzled by Bayern Munich for the Juventus star (Pictures: Getty)

Chelsea are set to cool their interest in Matthijs de Ligt and shift their transfer focus elsewhere after Bayern Munich made a rival move for the Juventus star, according to reports.

The west London club have been linked with a slew of centre-backs this summer with Thomas Tuchel willing to bring in as many as three new defenders after Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen left on free transfers.

Spanish duo César Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso are also believed to be keen to leave the club and return to Spain, although Chelsea will only sanction their sales once they have found replacements first.

In recent weeks, Dutch international De Ligt has become a top target for Chelsea and Juventus were believed to be willing to negotiate his sale as they seek to raise funds to reinvest in the team.

Tuchel is a big fan of the former Ajax centre-back and Chelsea had made an initial offer of €40m (£34.4m) plus Timo Werner, although Juve turned it down.

As negotiations stalled, the door was opened for rival clubs and reports in Germany on Monday claim that Bayern Munich have now overtaken the Blues in the race to sign the 22-year-old.

Sky Germany claims De Ligt spoke to Julian Nagelsmann and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic, both of whom convinced him to move to the Bundesliga over Chelsea.

Chelsea to step up search for Nathan Ake

Chelsea will now step up their search for Nathan Ake (Picture: Getty)

According to According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea now consider a de Ligt deal ‘problematic’ and will instead turn their attention to re-signing Nathan Ake.

Co-owner Todd Boehly, who is now the club’s interim sporting director, had initial talks with Manchester City about signing the Dutch centre-back during negotiations for Raheem Sterling, with the winger closing in on his own £45m swap to Stamford Bridge.

Tuchel wants to bring in a new centre-back as quickly as possible and Ake is seen as an easier deal to complete as Juve want at least £68m for De Ligt.

There are other names on Chelsea’s centre-back wish list, including Jules Kounde, Milan Skriniar and Presnel Kimpembe, but Ake is the player who will be hunted down now.

It won’t come cheap though, as Newcastle had previously been quoted a price tag of £50m.

The 27-year-old was signed by Chelsea in 2011 from Feyenoord, played briefly in the academy and, after a series of loans, was sold permanently to Bournemouth, although the deal included a buy-back clause that was never triggered.

So far, Chelsea have been frustrated in the transfer market and are yet to sign, with deals for the likes of Sterling, De Ligt and Leeds United winger Raphinha all running into various hurdles.

MORE: ‘Captive’ Thomas Tuchel to deliver Cristiano Ronaldo verdict to Chelsea owner Todd Boehly

MORE: Matthijs de Ligt makes a U-turn on Chelsea move after talks with Bayern Munich

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