Matthijs de Ligt has been left out of Ajax’s pre-season squad as his transfer to Juventus looms larger.
De Ligt is still the captain of Ajax, but the club announced that De Ligt will not be joining the squad in Austria for their pre-season campaign.
De Ligt’s rise: Five things to know…
- At just 19 years of age, De Ligt is one of the most sought-after players in world football.
- He captained Ajax to the Dutch league and cup double last season.
- De Ligt scored against Juventus and Tottenham Hotspur in Ajax’s incredible run to the Champions League semi-finals.
- He is thought to be following compatriot Frenkie de Jong by leaving Ajax for a leading European club.
- The defender has been linked with Juventus, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City and Manchester United, with Juventus in pole position to secure the youngster’s signature.
Ajax released a short statement, which read: “Awaiting a possible transfer, Matthijs de Ligt does not travel with the group.”
The Dutch champions have already made movements in the transfer window, having brought in defenders Kik Pierie and Lisandro Martinez, as well as highly-rated Dutch winger Quincy Promes.
They’ve also tied down starman Dusan Tadic with a whopping seven-year contract, but the future of maverick attacker Hakim Ziyech remains in the balance, with Spurs, Arsenal and Liverpool all linked.
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Juventus grow stronger
The thought of De Ligt and Chiellini at the back for Juventus next season is a terrifying prospect for opposition fans.
The club have also brought in Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey to strengthen their midfield, and with attackers such as Mario Mandzukic, Paulo Dybala and Cristiano Ronaldo at their disposable, one struggles to envisage anything other than another Serie A title at the least this season for the Old Lady.
Maurizio Sarri has left behind transfer-banned and Hazard-less Chelsea for the Italian champions who clearly have big ambitions for 2019-20. Having won his first major trophy as a manager in Baku at the end of the season, one would be very surprised if he doesn’t build on that this season.