Reports: Juventus move ahead in race to sign Matthijs de Ligt
Written by: Anjishnu Roy
The teenage sensation admits to being a huge fan of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci.
Matthijs de Ligt, is one of the most sought after players in world football and a move away for Ajax’s 19-year-old captain inches closer every day. Some of the biggest names in European football- Manchester City, Paris Saint Germain, Juventus, Barcelona, Manchester United and Bayern Munich are interested in his services and are doing everything possible to land him.
With de Ligt’s close friend and another prodigy, Frenkie de Jong choosing to join Barcelona over the winter, Barcelona had significantly moved ahead in the race with de Ligt expressing that he loved Barcelona. His agent, Mino Raiola who does not have a great relationship with the club was also requested to heed special importance to Barcelona’s offer as per Matthijs de Ligt.
However, according to recent reports, Juventus have emerged as the frontrunners in the pursuit of Matthijs de Ligt. De Ligt admitted being a huge fan of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci and refused to rule out a move to the Italian giants.
“[A move to Juventus] could happen, but there are others who are also interested,” the Netherlands international told Tuttosport.
“We'll see at the right time. At the moment I'm fully focused on Ajax and my agent Raiola is taking care of the rest. Also, [Frenkie] de Jong hasn't spoken to me about a move to Barcelona.
“I really admire Chiellini, he's a very strong centre-back and one of the best ever. I also appreciate Bonucci. They are two of the best centre-backs in Europe and two examples to follow for a young player like me.”
Despite still being a teenager, Matthijs de Ligt has been so promising that he has already earned comparison with great defenders of the past but the Ajax skipper rubbished those statements and admitted that he had a long way to go before even entering the same bracket as those legends.
“[Being compared to Alessandro Nesta and Jaap Stam] makes me happy because they were two top centre-backs, but I still have a lot to do to reach their level.
“Nesta was a fabulous defender; I also watch videos of [Paolo] Maldini and [Franco] Baresi. The Italian school of defenders has always been the most important.”
De Ligt was full of praise for the current stalwart of Juventus, Cristiano Ronaldo who almost single-handedly took them to the Quarter Finals of the Champions League after beating Atleti at home. Juventus will now face Ajax in the quarter finals, who already eliminated Ronaldo’s former side and current champions Real Madrid. De Ligt admitted he was going to relish the challenge against Cristiano.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best in the world and with him Juventus are stronger,” he said. “However, it will be a fascinating challenge to play against him.
“Juventus are a great team but we believe we can go through because we are younger and there's less pressure on us. Also, we have our own CR7: Dusan Tadic!”
Published: Mon Apr 01, 2019 06:42 PM IST