Matthijs de Ligt is set to undergo Juventus medical on Wednesday to finalize his, €70M move from Ajax.
We assume the two biggest transfers in Juventus’ recent past have been sealed on the field rather than off it.
It was the unusual standing ovation given to Cristiano Ronaldo by Juve fans in Turin last year Champions League clash which convinced the then Real Madrid galactico that the Bianconeri was the club for him.
Just a year after, it is the Portuguese who is playing a key role in persuading De Ligt to become his teammate in Turin.
Whilst money was clearly a key factor as with any transfer, the role of Ronaldo appears to be apparent in De Ligt’s move as the duo prepare to be team-mates as part of a new era for Juventus under Maurizio Sarri.
At the end of Portugal’s Nations League victory over the Netherlands, Ronaldo purposely sought out defender Matthijs de Ligt, not for a customary post-match handshake, but to urge him to join him in Turin.
De Ligt opened up on the words Ronaldo had for him after their Nations League loss to Portugal and Ronaldo being his idol.
“I didn’t understand him at first,” the center-half admitted to NOS.
“I was a little shocked, so I laughed, but I didn’t say anything.
“Shortly after the game you are not at all concerned with it, you are disappointed you have lost and that is the only thing you are thinking about.”
It is not a secret that youngster always admired and idolized Ronaldo since childhood
“I always wanted to be Cristiano Ronaldo when [my friends and I] were playing football in the garden,” De Ligt told VI in May.
“That was especially in his time when he played at Manchester United.
“My first football shirt also belonged to him from that time.”
Of course, CR7 wasn’t the only factor. Money was also key, as it so often is when super-agent Mino Raiola is involved.
De Ligt’s preference was to join Barcelona and they were supremely confident that he would follow in the footsteps of his team-mate De Jong in agreeing to move to Camp Nou.
Ronaldo’s appeal and influence thus played a crucial role in De Ligt’s decision to refuse numerous offers from elsewhere to join Juve, with the transfer set to be confirmed in the coming hours.
The eagerness of the big clubs was understandable as they know how inspirational a leader De Ligt already is at the age of 19.
Juventus are masters of transfer market, from buying players for free to signing big players resonably
De Ligt is already a starter at the heart of the Netherlands defense alongside Virgil van Dijk plus he captained a deligt-ful Ajax side to the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Thus, €70m should prove a bargain. After all, we are talking about a once-in-a-generation defender who could stop any elite attack for the next decade.
There are also speculations that a contract worth €20m a year is on the table, which would make him the second-highest-paid player in Serie A behind Cristiano Ronaldo.