Juventus have won the race to sign Ajax skipper Matthijs de Ligt for around €85.5m ahead of Barcelona and PSG.
Juventus have confirmed that they have signed the much-coveted Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax for an initial €75m on a five-year contract. They will pay a further €10.5m in add-ons. Agent Mino Raiola has also received €10m for his part in the deal.
De Ligt’s five-year contract is worth up to €12m-a-year and possesses a €150m release clause, which should become active in the year 2022. De Ligt, a powerful, commanding and technically gifted center-back, rose to the limelight during the last season with Ajax reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League, as well as claiming a domestic double under coach Erik ten Hag. But he now faces a task of justifying a fee of €85.5m, that makes him the most expensive under-20 defender of all time.
Matthijs de Ligt arrived at Ajax at the age of nine. He played in the Europa League final at the age of 17. Now he is 19-years-old and has already captained them to a domestic double and a Champions League semi-final last season.
Ajax paid a stunning tribute to their homegrown boy: “Hello as a little boy, GoldenBye as a captain.”
Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala, Moise Kean and Juventus’ wingers are capable of breaking through any defences, especially in Serie A. Along with all the stalwarts of Juventus, they now have De Ligt who is an aerial ace capable of climbing above any pack. The 19-year-old scored seven goals for Ajax last season: three in the Eredivisie, one against rivals Feyenoord in the KNVB Beker, and a further three in the Champions League. Six of those goals were headed, including the towering effort which knocked Juventus out of Europe while he also nodded in an equaliser for Netherlands in their Nations League victory over England in the semi-final.
Juventus have brought in a worthy heir to club icon Giorgio Chiellini, who will be celebrating his 35th birthday in August. Sarri’s biggest decision will revolve around his centre-back choices. Having worked with Daniele Rugani at Empoli, he might see more action and De Ligt can surely expect to feature regularly. An end to the Chiellini-Bonucci dynasty might not be far away.
De Ligt will now travel with his new teammates to Asia, where they will take part in this year’s International Champions Cup.
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