Ian Maatsen to Aston Villa transfer: Release clause, Duran deal, 'big clubs' claim

Aston Villa have been credited with an interest in Chelsea's flying full-back Ian Maatsen. The defender, who is currently away with the Netherlands at Euro 2024, spent the second half of last season with Borussia Dortmund, whom he helped reach the Champions League final and where he made a big impact.

Dortmund are keen on bringing Maatsen, 22, back to the Bundesliga, but it's understood Villa are eager to offer him an opportunity to remain in England and allow him to test himself in the top flight having done his time in the lower leagues with various loan moves previously. Maatsen has spent time before now with Charlton Athletic, Coventry City and Burnley on loan, the latter who he helped romp to the Championship title in 2023.

Maatsen, who is an attack-minded left-back and who has contributed goals from that berth wherever he has been, chose to remain at Stamford Bridge last summer when he could've returned to Turf Moor on a permanent basis and try his luck forcing his way into the Chelsea team then under the management of Mauricio Pochettino.

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Now, Maatsen returns to London after his spell in Germany to find the Blues under a new regime - that of Enzo Maresca, whose forensic analysis of his inherited squad will extend to Maatsen as he determines who'll be a part of his group moving forwards. What is clear, though, is that Maatsen wants regular football - whether that's at Chelsea, Dortmund or elsewhere.

Villa, for one, can offer Champions League football and can match that status that Dortmund, now under the management of former Liverpool loanee Nuri Sahin. Unai Emery is also considering how best to approach the transfer window, in which Villa are having to be careful as more clubs run the risk of falling foul of the dreaded PSR rules.

The Duran factor

Chelsea and Villa are already at the table, which could help the latter complete a deal for Maatsen. Both clubs are discussing deal which would involve Lions striker Jhon Duran heading to London. Colombian Duran, who is only 20 and who arrived at Villa from Chicago Fire 18 months ago, scored eight goals for Villa last season but could leave for the capital.

With Villa also possessing an interest in Chelsea midfielder and academy product Conor Gallagher, who ended last season as captain and who is also away at the Euros with England, it's likely that the Lions and the Blues will be in contact throughout the summer.

Release clause

It's claimed that Maatsen has a £35m release clause. He signed a new contract in January which runs until the summer of 2026. The previous deal was due to expire this summer, but the Blues moved to protect his value and ensure that they could earn themselves a fee by retaining his services for the foreseeable future.

Chelsea do, though, have both Ben Chilwell and Marc Cucurella both ahead of Maatsen in the Dutchman's preferred position. Villa, of course, have two left-backs themselves in Lucas Digne and Alex Moreno, but both players' futures have been under the spotlight already this summer and, if Emery can refresh that position, then it's likely he and Monchi will explore the club's options.

What Maatsen has said

He spoke to the Guardian after securing his move to Dortmund in the winter window. “My plan was to stay at Chelsea," he said. “I’d done my loan spells. I thought I was ready to compete for the big clubs, but sometimes football works like this. I didn’t get a lot of opportunities. It’s not the end of the world but you have to be ready. You always have to believe because football can go quickly.

"You have to deal with it as a young player. Sometimes it’s not fair but maybe it’s the best decision for the club and other teammates. I appreciate that - but I want to play football.”

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