Juventus have officially announced the signing of Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax.
The central defender was pursued by a number of elite clubs in Europe including PSG, Manchester United and Barcelona but the Italian champions have secured his signature on a five-year deal.
Juventus have paid an initial fee of £67.8million for a player who helped Ajax reach last season’s Champions League semi-finals and win the Eredivisie title while reaching the Nations League final with Holland.
The 19-year-old will help form a formidable defense for new manager Maurizio Sarri next season alongside Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini.
Despite his tender age, De Ligt has been hailed for his leadership qualities and composure on the pitch. Juventus announced the deal on their Twitter page with the cleverly phrased: ‘Turn the Ligt on’, message. Having completed his medical without a hitch on Wednesday, fans were made to wait until Thursday morning before the announcement was finally made.
De Ligt’s transfer has been a long time coming after his agent Mino Raiola agreed on personal terms worth around £10.75m a year with the club weeks ago.
The final details of the move were then sorted with Ajax before their former captain was flown into Turin by private jet.
On the Juventus website, they described their new signing as: ‘A perfect synthesis of the modern defender.’
De Ligt sealed the move with a kiss as girlfriend AnneKee Molenaar posted a picture of the pair in Turin on Instagram. She wrote alongside the picture: ‘I’m happy for you’. Last month De Ligt revealed that Cristiano Ronaldo asked him to join Juve after Portugal defeated Holland in the Nations League final.
‘He asked me to come to Juventus,’ the 19-year-old told NOS. ‘I was a little shocked by that question, that’s why I laughed. I didn’t understand him at first.’
De Ligt will now join up with his new team-mates for pre-season and get to work ahead of the 2019-20 season.