As the Italian daily sports papers rolled out their Friday editions earlier this morning, the general message regarding Juventus’ chase to sign Matthijs de Ligt was pretty much in unison: These next few hours are going to be crucial in terms of closing the deal once and for all.
They knew something was up.
Because, according to reports out of de Ligt’s native Netherlands, we’ve got action.
Refreshing, very good kind of transfer action.
According to De Telegraaf, Juventus and Ajax have, finally, reached an agreement on the deal that will see de Ligt come to the Italian champions this summer. The final total, according to De Telegraaf, will be €70 million, which with bonuses will get oh-so-close to the €75 million figure that multiple outlets have been stating is the price Ajax will not budge from over the course of these negotiations.
Regardless if it’s a straight €70 million transfer fee or €70 million plus another couple more when you throw in performance-related bonuses, the result is still the same: Matthijs de Ligt is basically, now, a medical and a contract signing away from officially being a Juventus player.
So, if you were worried, you can relax a little — or a lot — now. Or maybe you won’t relax at all until you see de Ligt getting out of a Jeep Cherokee, waving to what is likely to be a huge crowd waiting for him and then strolling into J Medical for his exams prior to signing his new contract.
It’s been a rather lengthy and interesting road to get to this point, one where we’ve known for weeks that Juventus and de Ligt have agreed to a five-year contract worth €12 million net a season. The negotiations between Juventus and Ajax were never going to be simple because of the amount of money being thrown about, especially so considering that other European giants were likely lying in wait just in case something happened and the expected deal was thrown off course.
But what started with a bid in the low €50 million-plus range was quickly upped to €67 million and now, with Juventus three days into preseason training, a deal between the two clubs has been struck. The goal, according to many reports in both the Netherlands and in Italy, was to have a deal wrapped up by the end of the work week so that de Ligt could be presented as a Juventus player come Saturday.
Well, de Ligt isn’t part of Ajax’s traveling squad to Austria. Instead, his next destination is almost certainly Turin — which, no matter what the price is, has to make you pretty happy.