Matthijs De Ligt has ALWAYS fancied the Premier League and a move to Chelsea or Manchester United could make sense for all parties… the £67m Dutchman hasn’t improved in Italy and Juventus need the money!
- Matthijs De Ligt has told Juve he wishes to be sold, putting top teams on red alert
- He has made 117 appearances for the club since joining from Ajax for £67million
- The Dutch defender has worked with new Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag
- Negotiations between Juventus and De Ligt have reportedly ‘broken down’
In Italy as in the rest of Europe, many believe that players managed by the late Mino Raiola’s team, now led by Vincenzo Raiola and the lawyer Rafaela Pimenta, are loyal to their agent and not to their teams.
One of these players is Matthijs De Ligt. Ever since his arrival at Juventus, he has always kept a Premier League ticket in his pocket.
For Juventus, losing De Ligt would mean abandoning their biggest purchase of recent years but in a lot of ways the move would make sense.
He has played 117 games for Juve since joining from Ajax in a high-profile £67million deal
Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United are all keen on the Dutch defender and Juventus should be ready to let him go.
De Ligt has not improved in his time at Juventus as fans would have hoped. He has been outperformed in Serie A by defenders who earn five times less than him such as Chris Smalling, Milan Skriniar and Fikayo Tomori.
In three years, his excessive aggression and unfamiliarity with Italian tactics have caused six penalties for Juventus, proving that he still has a lot to learn in an intelligent and cunning league.
De Ligt often proves too hasty in the decisive choices: he is a top player but his progress in Italy after three years is slower than that of Skriniar or Tomori, two defenders who immediately understood what to do to be among the best defenders in the league.
Man United boss Erik Ten Hag worked with De Ligt during his successful spell as Ajax manager
The 22-year-old grew up at Ajax where he was never under pressure. He now plays with the strongest defenders in the world in a league in which defending is an art that should be studied at University.
From Juventus’ point of view, they have two key financial aims this summer: reduce their wage bill and sell players who could later leave on free transfers.
The sale of De Ligt today would guarantee the club a substantial fee but certainly less than his £98m release clause.
For £67m the Italian club would accept to lose De Ligt because it would allow them to launch an assault on other defenders such as Gabriel of Arsenal.
If they sell De Ligt, Juventus must find a new defender immediately as the Italian club would struggle to find a replacement if his sale took place between the end of July and August.
Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea will be keen to replace Anthony Rudiger with a top defender
According to reports in Corriere dello Sport, negotiations between Juventus and De Ligt broke down completely as the defender asked to be sold despite having two years left on his contract.
De Ligt’s lawyer Rafaela Pimenta asked for his release clause to be cut from £98m to £68m while Juventus wanted to reduce his salary, but the two parties failed to reach a compromise.
There is substantial interest in De Ligt from outside Italy. Chelsea, with their new ownership, are pushing hard to replace Anthony Rudiger and see the Dutchman as a good option.
He could also be a great signing for Manchester United, as it would reunite the defender with his former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag.
De Ligt has caused a shock at Juventus by proposing he leave immediately. If his release clause is not met, it may lead to a long and painful negotiation that could end with the 22-year-old leaving as a free transfer in two years time, the worst possible outcome for both Juventus and De Ligt.