Matthijs De Ligt completes $85 million transfer to Juventus


Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, left, duels for the ball with Netherlands' Matthijs de Ligt during the UEFA Nations League final soccer match between Portugal and Netherlands at the Dragao stadium in Porto, Portugal, Sunday, June 9, 2019. (Luis Vieira / AP)

TURIN, Italy — Matthijs de Ligt became the most expensive defender in Serie A history after completing a 75 million euro ($85 million) transfer from Ajax on Thursday.

Juventus announced the deal’s completion, saying it had signed the Netherlands international to a five-year contract.

The 19-year-old De Ligt was captain of the Ajax squad that reached the Champions League semifinals last season, having scored the winning goal against Juventus in the quarterfinals.

The highly regarded centre back is set to join a veteran defence featuring Juventus stalwarts Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci.

Juventus said in a statement that the deal was "reached for a consideration of 75 million euros, payable in five financial years, and additional costs of 10.5 million euros."

While contract details were not revealed, De Ligt’s contract is reportedly worth 8 million euros per season, and could reach 12 million euros with bonuses.

De Ligt’s signing follows that of midfielders Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot by Juventus, with goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon also back after one season away at Paris Saint-Germain.

And as Cristiano Ronaldo enters his second season at Juventus, the Turin club is putting together a serious bid to win the elusive Champions League.

Since Juventus’ last title in 1996, it has finished runner-up five times in the top European competition.

Strong both on the ground and in the air, De Ligt scored twice with headers in the Champions League last season — with only Ronaldo (four) managing more.

He becomes the fifth Dutch player for Juventus after Ouasim Bouy, Eljero Elia, Edwin van der Sar and Edgar Davids.

Juventus is an overwhelming favourite to win a record-extending ninth straight Serie A title.

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