De Ligt mulling over Juventus future after Allegri's shaky first season back

By Sports Desk June 05, 2022

Matthijs de Ligt has opened up on his Juventus future by indicating he may not extend his contract with the Serie A giants.

Although negotiations are under way, Dutch centre-back De Ligt has yet to make up his mind about whether to commit to new terms.

The 22-year-old has been linked with Manchester United, perhaps inevitably given his former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag is now in the Old Trafford hot seat.

That may prove an option if United can buy at the right price, although De Ligt cost Juventus some €75million when he arrived three years ago so would not come cheaply.

He has two years remaining on his Juventus contract.

Speaking to Dutch outlet NOS, De Ligt said of his situation: "Talks are currently being held and when the time comes, I will decide whether I will extend or whether I want to look further.

"I always look at what is best for myself in terms of the sporting project. Fourth place in a row twice is not good enough, we will have to make steps in that direction."

Juventus struggled under rookie head coach Andrea Pirlo in 2020-21 but were expected to have a resurgence when Massimiliano Allegri returned to the club 12 months ago, having previously directed five Scudetto triumphs with the Bianconeri.

It has yet to come to fruition, with a second consecutive fourth-placed finish seeing an expensively assembled Juventus finish 16 points behind Serie A champions Milan.

"Juventus is always a club that wants and has to become champions," said De Ligt. "Personally, this was my best year so far. In terms of playing time and the way I played."

With veteran captain Giorgio Chiellini departing at the end of the season and Leonardo Bonucci recently turning 35, De Ligt is set to become increasingly prominent and important at the heart of the Juventus backline.

He played 42 games in the season just ended, starting 40 times, and did not make any errors leading to shots. De Ligt also had a healthy tackle success rate of 58.14 per cent.

"Whether I'm the man in the back? I don't know," he said. "The club have spoken to me in that way and I have shown this season through injuries to Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci what I am capable of."

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