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 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 a 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.