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De Ligt close to Juventus after skipping Ajax training camp

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Matthijs de Ligt


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 traveling to the camp in Bramberg in Austria on Saturday afternoon, adding that “awaiting a possible transfer, Matthijs de Ligt is not traveling 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 center-back, reportedly a five-year contract worth 12 million euros ($13.5 million) a season with a 135 million-euro release clause.

However the two clubs had been locked in negotiations with Ajax reportedly demanding 75 million euros, but the Gazzetta dell Sport claims that the fee of 70 million euros 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 heartbreaking end with a 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 euro deal.

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