Juventus reportedly plan to step up their efforts to seal a deal for Matthijs de Ligt and, possibly, present him as their newest signing on Saturday.
The ongoing De Ligt transfer saga looks to be finally nearing its end following almost a year of near-constant speculation.
There have, naturally, been plenty of suitors for the 19-year-old, who has struggled to decide in recent months. At one point, Barcelona seemed favourites upon signing his Ajax and Netherlands team-mate Frenkie de Jong.
But it appears a request from idol Cristiano Ronaldo to join him in Turin has swung things in Juventus’ favour. De Ligt’s agent, Mino Raiola, then confirmed last weekend that personal terms have been agreed on with the Bianconeri.
Reports have suggested that the centre-back will earn €12m per season in a lucrative five-year contract. Hence, the only thing now missing is an agreement between Juventus and Ajax over a suitable transfer fee.
So far, the Serie A champions have been reluctant to match Ajax’s asking price of €75m for De Ligt. They’ve tried offering significantly lower bids, but the Dutch side’s resolve remains unwavering.
Now, De Telegraaf claims Juventus are in a desperate race against time to seal a deal for De Ligt this week.
With a move to Italy still incomplete, the Netherlands international has returned to Ajax for pre-season and will head out to Austria in a matter of days with the club.
Apparently, this is the very last thing Juventus want as it will hamper their plans to take De Ligt with them on their Asia tour. Therefore, they plan to up their efforts in sealing a deal by offering to pay Ajax €67m – which is much closer to the €75m asking price.
And De Telegraaf suggests that Ajax may be willing to accept the offer, which could open the door for De Ligt to become a Juventus player by the weekend.
Should things go to plan then, De Ligt could debut against Tottenham in the International Champions Cup (ICC) on July 21 in Singapore.
Inter Milan will await Juventus in China for another ICC match three days later before Juventus meet Atletico Madrid in Sweden on August 10.