Serie A giants Juventus have reportedly completed the €70m transfer of 19-year old Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt on a five-year contract subject to a medical, according to De Telegraaf.
The Dutch prodigy had a brilliant breakthrough season at Ajax, captaining the side to their first Eredivisie title-win in five years and also helped them reach the Champions League semi-final defeating 13-time winners Real Madrid and Juventus on the way. He also scored an impressive seven goals in all competitions from defense.
Matthijs de Ligt was heavily linked with a move to Barcelona in the initial weeks of the transfer window. However, the Spanish champions diverted their attention to secure big-money moves of Antoine Griezmann and potentially Neymar.
Ernesto Valverde has already signed de Ligt’s former teammate and national compatriot Frenkie de Jong, but the teenager refused to follow his friend’s footsteps as he snubbed the Spanish club to sign for Juventus.
Matthijs de Ligt, after the UEFA Nations League final defeat to Portugal in June, claimed that Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo personally tried to convince him to come to Turin.
“Ronaldo asked me to come to Juventus. I was a little shocked by that question, that’s why I laughed. I didn’t understand him at first,” he said.
Juventus, who possess one of the best defensive line-ups in world football, have significantly bolstered their squad with the addition of Matthijs de Ligt. The former Ajax captain will partner the likes of Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chilenni and Andrea Barzagli at the heart of Old Lady’s defense.
De Ligt also becomes Juventus’ most expensive defender in their history following his €70m move. The club’s previous transfer record for a defender was when Lilian Thuram moved to Turin in 2001 for a reported €41.5m.
Juventus have already added free agents Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot to their ranks after Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain did not renew their contracts. And Matthijs de Ligt’s inevitable arrival will make it a summer to remember for Juventus fans. The defender could officially be announced as early as Saturday following the completion of all paperwork.