Over the last few days, there has been a lot of speculation about the future of Matthijs de Ligt at Juventus. The thing is, though, it has come during a time in which speculating about just about everything is the norm and the reliability of most of those doing the speculating is not exactly on the money.
As Wednesday turned to Thursday in Italy, we got something a little different when it comes to things on the de Ligt front.
In an interview with Turin-based newspaper Tuttosport, Juventus CEO Maurizio Arrivabene dropped about as big of a hint about de Ligt’s future without actually saying that the young Dutchman has requested a transfer away from the club this summer. In a way, Arrivabene has said just that without actually saying just that, but now we have a pretty good idea that Juve’s summer mercato is going to include a big-time transfer away from Turin.
The words of Arrivabene is as follows:
“It’s impossible to keep players when they want to leave the club - but all the three parties in the negotiations have to be satisfied.”
Well, that kinda eludes to something involving a major transfer away from Juventus this summer, doesn’t it? I don’t usually want to read too much into things when it comes from a front office member, but Arrivabene seems to operate a little differently — he’s going to tell you what’s up and there’s no real beating around the bush.
This is the clearest sign that Juve’s rebuild this summer is going to involve a player who is easily one of the most talented on the roster and could have been part of a young core of players all below 25 years of age. Except, this is the sign that de Ligt won’t be staying with Juventus past July or August, that those of us wanting to see him sign a contract extension and pledge at least one more season to see if things got better are now disappointed.
It’s the “when they want to leave” part that basically tells you all you need to know.
And because of that, there’s going to be a lot of speculation happening. It will be completely warranted now, with de Arrivabene eluding to the fact that de Ligt has expressed his desire to leave and that the club, the player and the player’s representatives will all be trying to find some sort of outcome that can please all of them.
What that entails still remains to be seen. We know de Ligt’s release clause stands at €125 million (or around there), according to reports. Whether somebody like a Chelsea or a Manchester City or somebody else in the small group of clubs who could push a nine-figure kind of deal still remains to be seen. We know Chelsea tried to low ball Juve with a €45 million plus Timo Werner swap deal late last week, which was understandably quickly turned away like Arrivabene was swatting away a fly hanging around his expensive cologne.
Juve will certainly be linked with a host of central defenders now. The rumors involving Bremer — one of Inter Milan’s main targets this summer, especially with Milan Skriniar potentially leaving for Ligue 1 — and Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly aren’t going to suddenly slow down. Heck, just before the Arrivabene quote became public knowledge, Sky Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio linked Paris Saint-Germain’s Presnel Kimpembe with a move to Juventus in case de Ligt is to leave this summer.
And there looks like there is a very good chance the 22-year-old does in fact leave Juventus this summer. Yes, more now than ever before. The guy has said he wants Juventus to improve or else he’d be evaluating his future, and it appears that evaluation might have already happened.