Chelsea have reportedly been dealt a massive blow with one of their top transfer targets now said to have reached an agreement to join another major European club.
The Blues are believed to be pursuing a number of defenders after Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen's contracts expired at the end of the 2021/22 season, with the pair going on to join Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, respectively.
Some of the names reportedly being chased by the Londoners include Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt and Sevilla star Jules Kounde.
It was claimed Chelsea had made a €40 million (R682 million) offer for the former, with the bid including Timo Werner in a player-plus-cash deal.
That offer was turned down by the Serie A club, but Thomas Tuchel's side had remained hopeful a deal could be struck in the coming weeks.
However, according to Sport1, Bayern Munich are now leading the race to sign De Ligt after reaching a verbal agreement with the centre-back.
With the Dutch star having reportedly initially preferred to join Bayern over Juventus in 2019, it seems the Bavarians' sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic and head coach Julian Nagelsmann have now persuaded the defender to make the move to Germany.
Chelsea could still go ahead of the Bundesliga champions in the race for the 22-year-old's signature, though, with the German club unlikely to match the Premier League side's bid.
The Bianconeri are believed to value the Netherlands star at a fee in the region of €80 million (R1.3 billion), but Bayern are unlikely to go beyond €60 million (R1 billion).
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