Juventus fear a last-minute gazump from Barcelona could cost them the signing of Ajax starlet Matthijs de Ligt.
Juventus wanted to sign Matthijs De Ligt from Ajax as soon as possible to prevent a last-minute gazump from Barcelona, Manchester United or Paris Saint-Germain. But the two clubs have failed to reach to an agreement on the transfer fee of De Ligt.
Ajax want 75 million euros for De ligt. But Juventus have reportedly offered 55 million euros and a further 10 million euros as add-ons. While Barcelona, Manchester United and PSG are all ready to break their banks and bring the 19-year-old defender to their club. Rumours said that De Ligt had personally chosen Juventus as his next destination, but if the Serie A champions do not come to an agreement over the transfer fee with Ajax, the move would be off.
Frenkie De Jong was asked if he would like to be reunited with his fellow Netherlands international, during his presentation at Barcelona on Friday. He answered, smilingly: “I was expecting this question. Of course, I would be happy to see him here, but it’s not up to me to say something about it. I think he has time to think about it and he has to make a decision himself, with his family and his agent, so we will see where he goes.”
Barcelona have close ties with the Netherlands. It is largely because of their association with the late Dutch great Johan Cruyff – a legendary player and highly successful head coach of the Catalan club and Ajax The Cruyff traditions have sustained, and De Jong is sure he will fit in at Barcelona because of that factor.
De Jong said: “Netherlands and Barca have always had a good connection, and Barca and Ajax have a very similar way of playing, with the philosophy of Johan Cruyff. Ajax and Barca want to play in the same way, and that’s great for me.
My dream has always been to be a Barcelona player, so the decision to come here was very easy. I’m very happy and very proud. When the president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, came to the Netherlands expressly to see me, it showed that they believed in me a lot. They told me that I would be a very important player for the club.
Everyone in the squad is a great player; Barca have the best players in the world and I will have to show that I can be part of the first XI, where I can play in any position in the midfield. I’m very happy to be able to play with Leo Messi, and I can’t wait to get started.”
Juventus would like to do everything in their power to prevent slipping De Ligt from their hands. Tuttosport report that Juventus are now aiming to have De Ligt in Turin for his medical and to begin pre-season training by Wednesday. This means a move could be completed over the weekend and announced by Monday. The Turin based daily also suggest Juve could look to spread the €75m asking price over the course of the next few financial years or possibly take advantage of Ajax’s interest in Moise Kean who has already been approached by Ajax in previous months.
As Mino Raiola represents both De Ligt and Kean, it may make the deal all the more plausible. While Paulo Dybala is likely to stay in Turin but the future’s of Mario Mandzukic and Gonzalo Higuain are uncertain for now. Corriere dello Sport also report along similar lines. However, they believe the two transfers would be entirely separate deals as Juventus would retain a buy-back clause on Kean.
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