News ID: 254697
Published: 0227 GMT June 22, 2019

Juventus in pole position for De Ligt as it readies €70m bid

Juventus in pole position for De Ligt as it readies €70m bid

Juventus is increasingly confident that it can win the race to sign Matthijs de Ligt and is preparing to bid around €70 million (£63m/$80m) to land the Ajax star.

There is huge interest from Europe's top clubs in the center-back, who captained Ajax to a domestic double as well as playing a key role in its progress to the Champions League semifinals, reported.

The likes of Manchester City, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain have all been keen on signing De Ligt, who has insisted that he will consider his next move while on holiday following the conclusion of the Nations League tournament.

Indeed, PSG remains one of the front-runners to land the Dutchman, with talks ongoing over the last two weeks although the player has yet to accept an offer from the Ligue 1 champion.

Barca had long been considered the favorite to sign De Ligt, with his Ajax teammate Frenkie de Jong already secured for the 2019-20 season and the Catalan giant hoping that the chance to play alongside Lionel Messi would also work in its favor.

With plenty of defensive options already at their disposal, however, Catalans will likely need to sell before they push ahead with a move for De Ligt, while there is also the possibility of Neymar returning in the summer for what would be a significant sum.

City, for its part, had also been interested in signing the center-back although the Premier League champion has pulled back from a deal for the player because of the figures involved and a reluctance to work with agent Mino Raiola.

But it's Juve which is now confident it can strike a deal with Ajax and convince the player to head to Italy.

Indeed, according to sources close to the Italian club, it is speaking with De Ligt's agent Raiola on a daily basis as it moves into pole position to sign the 19-year-old.

The teenage defender is also believed to be intrigued at the prospect of signing for Juve, with the club due to contact Ajax in the coming days over negotiating a transfer fee.

The attraction of joining the Serie A champion, which won its eighth title in a row in 2018-19, is obvious, with the club determined to improve its squad ahead of another attempt to progress further in the Champions League.

The signing of Cristiano Ronaldo in 2018 was seen as a clear statement of intent in terms of its aspirations to win Europe's top club competition, although it were dumped out at the quarterfinal stage by De Ligt's Ajax last season.

Indeed, Ronaldo himself appears to have played a part in trying to convince De Ligt to move to Turin, with the Netherlands international revealing that the former Real Madrid star asked about him joining Juve following the Nations League final.

Juve is also exploring a move for Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, although it is aware of rival interest from Real Madrid, which appears the favorite to land the World Cup winner.


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