Reports: Matthijs de Ligt Close to Joining Juventus in €70M Transfer

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJune 22, 2019

Ajax's Matthijs de Ligt celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Champions League semifinal second leg soccer match between Ajax and Tottenham Hotspur at the Johan Cruyff ArenA in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Wednesday, May 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Peter Dejong/Associated Press

Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt is close to joining Juventus in a transfer worth €70 million, according to multiple reports from the Netherlands and Italy.

De Telegraaf (h/t Football Italia) said his contract with the Bianconeri could be worth €20 million per year.

Sky Italia's Gianluca Di Marzio (h/t Football Italia) also reported Juventus have stepped up their interest in the 19-year-old.

The Guardian's Fabrizio Romano noted talks are ongoing, but Paris Saint-Germain remain in the running:

In a separate report, Football Italia stated De Ligt would snub the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United if he moved to the Italian champions. Barcelona in particular have long been linked with the Dutch international, but PSG and Juventus have emerged as the favourites.

Football Italia also reported the deal will be made possible by Juventus' decision to sign Adrien Rabiot on a free transfer rather than spending big on Paul Pogba. The money that was reserved to bring the United man back to the Allianz Stadium will instead go towards signing De Ligt.

The Dutchman revealed Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo asked him to join the Bianconeri after the two met in the UEFA Nations league earlier this month, per Italian Football TV:

The Old Lady's interest in the Ajax starlet goes back much further than that, however. Per Tuttosport (h/t Football Italia), De Ligt visited the Allianz Stadium last summer, receiving a guided tour while he was in Turin with the national team.

He's represented by Mino Raiola, who has close connections to the club and was previously the agent for Pavel Nedved, who is now the team's vice-president. 

De Ligt played a key role in Juventus' UEFA Champions League exit in the quarter-finals this season, scoring the winning goal in a 2-1 triumph in Turin in the return match. 

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The Italians are on the lookout for new centre-backs, as Andrea Barzagli retired at the conclusion of the 2018-19 campaign and 34-year-old Giorgio Chiellini won't be around forever, either. 

Per Calciomercato, they've all but secured a deal for Sassuolo's Merih Demiral, while Genoa's Cristian Romero has strongly hinted he'll move to Turin as well. But while both are fine talents who could develop into great players, De Ligt is already a top-level defender who would likely start for Juventus immediately. 

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