Mon, 19 Aug 2019

Paris - Matthijs de Ligt is closing in on a move to Juventus after Ajax announced on Saturday that the rising star will skip the Dutch champions pre-season training camp due to his expected departure.

In a statement, Ajax named a 28-man squad travelling to the camp in Bramberg in Austria on Saturday afternoon, adding that "awaiting a possible transfer, Matthijs de Ligt is not travelling with the group".

Last week the player's agent Mino Raiola told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf that a deal had been struck between Juve and the powerful centre-back, reportedly a five-year contract worth €12 million a season with a €135 million release clause.

However the two clubs had been locked in negotiations with Ajax reportedly demanding €75 million, but the Gazzetta dell Sport claims that the a fee of €70 million is set to be agreed.

De Ligt, who turns 20 next month, is expected to join Serie A champions Juve after wowing with superb displays during Ajax's thrilling charge to the Champions League semi-finals last season.

He captained the team to a domestic double as their fairytale European run - which included wins over Real Madrid and Juve came to a heart-breaking end with semi-final defeat to Tottenham Hotspur after leading 3-0 on aggregate at half-time in the second leg.

The signing would be the sixth of what has already been a busy summer for Juventus, who have brought in Maurizio Sarri as coach after removing Massimiliano Allegri and signed Paris Saint-Germain's want-away midfielder Adrien Rabiot, Aaron Ramsey, Luca Pellegrini, Merih Demiral and 41-year-old Gianluigi Buffon, who returns to Turin after a year alongside Rabiot in the French capital.

It would also be Ajax's second big sale after Frenkie de Jong left for Barcelona in a €75 million deal.

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