PSG Sporting Director Leonardo Confirms Club Won't Sign Matthijs de Ligt

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 9, 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

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo has confirmed the club will not sign Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt because he is too expensive. 

De Ligt has been heavily linked with a move to either PSG, Barcelona or Juventus this summer, but it won't be the French club that he joins.

Leonardo told Le Parisien (h/t Goal): "De Ligt will not come to PSG. There was a possibility. He is a great player, but it was not a good time to make a big investment. We must calm down a little. We don't have an envelope of €200 million to spend."

The director's confirmation follows reports from French outlet RMC (h/t Sport Witness) that the club could not agree terms with the centre-back:

Juventus have, though, according to his agent Mino Raiola, per football journalist Fabrizio Romano:

PSG shipped 35 goals in Ligue 1 last term. Although only Lille conceded fewer, for a team as dominant as the Parisians it's not a particularly impressive record over 38 games.

They'll also need to become more resilient if they wish to contend in the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League.

The Ligue 1 side have exited in the round of 16 in each of the last three seasons, and they've not reached a semi-final since 1995.

De Ligt would have helped in that regard, as he's a fine young defender who's already comfortable at the top level of the game and only likely to improve in the coming years.

However, after spending enormous amounts to bring in the likes of Neymar at €222 million and Kylian Mbappe at €180 million, PSG are under scrutiny in relation to UEFA's financial fair play rules.

Leonardo added that "the rules and criteria in force must be respected."

As football writer Jeremy Smith observed, their business this summer has been conducted with that in mind:

A player of De Ligt's youth and calibre isn't going to be cheap, particularly given the competition for his signature this summer.

Improving defensively should still be among the club's priorities this summer, but they'll need to find a more affordable solution.

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