Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt is 'ready' to join Juventus after a productive phone call with new manager Maurizio Sarri - with the exact transfer fee to be paid all that is left in the way of a deal being completed.
It has been clear for much of 2019 that the Dutch international would not be staying in Amsterdam following an incredible season in the heart of the De Godenzonen defence. Now, it is readily apparent that De Ligt hopes to join Juve over the off-season, though I Bianconeri are currently unwilling to meet Ajax's €75m valuation.
Nevertheless, this is a transfer we will see happen before the start of next campaign after journalist Fabrizio Romano confirmed on Instagram that a deal is edging closer.
According to the Italian, Juventus have already agreed personal terms with De Ligt, whilst the player has already held an encouraging phone call with new manager Maurizio Sarri.
The centre-back informed his would-be manager that he is keen on a switch to Serie A, with the latter then explaining his unique footballing philosophy to an eager and attentive listener.
Negotiations between the Old Lady and Ajax are ongoing, but it is expected that the pair will eventually settle on a fee for De Ligt's services.
Put bluntly, there appears not to be a scenario in which the defender is not wearing the famous black and white stripes of Juve come August. Everything suggests that this is a matter of when he completes his move, not if.
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Matthijs de Ligt calling! 📞 - Talks ongoing between Juventus and Ajax to finalize the deal for de Ligt 🗣 - Juventus have the total agreement with the player about his contract; that’s why they’re trying to pay less than €75M asked by Ajax. No problems right now and just normal talks 💰 - Matthijs some days ago asked to his agent Mino Raiola if possible to speake with Maurizio Sarri, new Juventus manager. They had a call with very good feelings; de Ligt told to Sarri he’s ready to join Juventus and the manager explicated to the CB his football idea. So good impact. They feel ready to work together soon 📲 #deligt #ajax #juve #juventus #transfers ••••••••••••••••••••••🇮🇹🇬🇧••••••••••••••••••••• La chiamata di Matthijs de Ligt! 📞 - La Juventus sta lavorando giorno dopo giorno per chiudere l’affare de Ligt con l’Ajax, i tempi non sono veloci come sempre in trattative così onerose 🗣 - Da giorni c’è l’accordo totale per la Juve con de Ligt per il suo contratto da 5 anni; per questo sta provando ad abbassare la richiesta dell’Ajax da 75 milioni, normale gioco delle parti 💰 - Pochi giorni fa, Matthijs ha chiesto al suo agente Mino Raiola di parlare con Maurizio Sarri. La telefonata c’è stata: feeling ottimo, de Ligt non ha chiesto garanzie sul posto da titolare ma voleva capire le idee del nuovo allenatore. Sarri gli ha spiegato tutto ed è rimasto ‘impressionato’ dalla mentalità trasmessa da de Ligt. Con la voglia di lavorare presto insieme, quando la Juve chiuderá l’operazione definitivamente 📲 @skysport #skycalciomercato #juventus
De Ligt is evidently pushing for it, whilst Juventus understandably want him at the Allianz Stadium. On top of that, they have the finances to meet the requisite sum; they are merely trying to engineer a cut-price deal.
The likelihood is that he'll eventually move to Italy for the proposed €75m fee, but La Vecchia Signora are currently playing a game of brinksmanship - knowing full well they have the financial capabilities to strike a deal, as well as knowing that he is well worth the price, given the current state of the transfer market.