Matthijs de Ligt has arrived at Juventus to undergo a medical ahead of completing his move from Ajax.
The young defender landed in Turin on Tuesday night via private jet before being escorted to the Serie A champions’ facility on Wednesday morning.
The sought-after centre-back was heavily linked with Barcelona, Manchester United and Manchester City, but he is set to ply his trade in Serie A alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Aaron Ramsey next season after Juventus agreed a reported €75 million deal.
He has played 117 games for Ajax in all competitions, scoring 13 goals, including three as the club reached the last four of the Champions League last season, only to lose in the final seconds to Tottenham.
De ligt scored the winner in Turin as Ajax eliminated Juventus in the quarter-finals.
He has played 17 times for the Netherlands.
WHAT THE PAPERS SAY
Danny Rose is not heading to Singapore for Tottenham’s pre-season tour, the Daily Telegraph reports, in a sign that the 29-year-old is on the verge of being sold. The England left-back has made it clear he is unhappy with Spurs’ pay structure.
The Evening Standard says Rose’s Tottenham team-mate Christian Eriksen, 27, has been identified by Atletico Madrid as the Spanish giants look to add creativity to their midfield. The Denmark international said last month he was interested in a new challenge after six years with Spurs.
St Etienne are hoping to transfer teenage defender William Saliba to Tottenham, but the 18-year-old would prefer to go to Arsenal, according to The Sun. The Gunners have reportedly agreed to terms with Saliba, though the Ligue 1 club have been offered more money by Spurs. That has led Arsenal to match Tottenham’s £30million offer, with the French club now considering whether they can push the price for the defender higher again.
Manchester United are pursuing Sporting Lisbon’s Bruno Fernandes and have reportedly made him a large offer to switch to the Red Devils. The Portugal international could offer new options in United’s midfield, where uncertainty reigns due to Ander Herrera’s departure and Paul Pogba’s desire to leave Old Trafford. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has expressed interest in Fernandes, 24, and the Daily Mirror says United has offered him £50million – or £5.5million a year – to shift north.
Veteran goalkeeper Andy Lonergan has been added as cover to Liverpool’s pre-season tour of North America, the Daily Mail says. The 35-year-old has not yet been signed by the Reds, who are missing first-choice custodian Allison – on holiday following Brazil’s Copa America win – while youth goalkeepers Caoimhin Kelleher and Vitezslav Jaros are both out injured. Lonergan, currently a free agent following recent stints with Middlesbrough and Leeds United, will serve as back-up to Belgian international Simon Mignolet.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Ademola Lookman: The Everton winger, 21, has followed a productive loan to RB Leipzig by being signed by the Bundesliga side, Sky Sports News reports.
Everton Soares: Arsenal have sent a club doctor to Brazil to check on the Copa America-winning striker, with the Gunners close to signing the 23-year-old from Gremio, according to Metro and Fox Sports.
The rumour mill is filled with transfer speculation linking household names and high-profile young talents with big-money moves to some of Europe’s top sides.
Promising talents often don’t get the attention they deserve because they’re featuring in lesser clubs away from the limelight of a title challenge or the recognition that comes with topping the charts for goals or assists.
A more extensive search though could unearth some hidden gems scattered across the European circuit and we’ve compiled a series to put some of those players in the spotlight.
Here, you can find all five editions neatly packaged for your convenience. Enjoy!
FLORIAN GRILLITSCH – Hoffenheim
Position: Centre Midfield
Strengths: Passing, tackling, interceptions
Similar to: Michael Carrick
Where he could thrive: Manchester United, Ajax
A deep-lying playmaker more by nature than trade, Grillitsch is tailor-made for the role.
MILOT RASHICA – Werder Bremen
Strengths: Dribbling, work-rate, X-factor
Similar to: Luis Suarez
Where he could thrive: Barcelona, Bayern Munich
He is never stationary. Always running, always thinking and always creating chances.
JULES KOUNDE – Bordeaux
Position: Centre Back
Strengths: Passing, pace, composure
Similar to: Thomas Vermaelen
Where he could thrive: Arsenal, Sevilla
From how he receives possession to his first touch, Kounde is one of the best ball-playing centre-backs in France.
JONATHAN IKONE – Lille
Position: Attacking Midfield/Winger
Strengths: Creativity, dribbling, versatility
Similar to: Nabil Fekir
Where he could thrive: Arsenal, Everton
His quick turns and his direct running helps transition play from midfield to attack almost instantly.
BARTLOMIEJ DRAGOWSKI – Fiorentina
Strengths: Shot-stopping, punching, rushing out
Similar to: Wojciech Szczesny
Where he could thrive: PSG, Roma
Apart from his exceptional reflexes, Dragowski is proactive and commands the penalty area.