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Matthijs de Ligt denied Cristiano Ronaldo convinced him to join Juventus but cited Maurizio Sarri as an important factor in his €85.5million move.

Netherlands defender De Ligt spoke to the media and was presented with the number four shirt on Friday, 24 hours after completing a high-profile transfer from Ajax.

The 19-year-old attracted interest from Barcelona, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain but confirmed his heart was already set on Juve by the time he crossed with paths with Ronaldo in Portugal last month.

They locked horns in the Nations League final, during which the Bianconeri superstar told centre-back De Ligt to choose Turin as his next destination.

"At that moment I was pretty sure it was Juventus but obviously it was nice that someone big like Cristiano Ronaldo asked me if I wanted to join," De Ligt said.

"It was a big compliment but it was not the difference between me joining and not joining."

Rather, De Ligt's interest in a switch to Serie A stemmed from his deep-rooted admiration of Italian defenders, including former Juve man and World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro.

Sarri's tactical approach runs counter to many of the country's established ideals but proved every bit as enticing for De Ligt, a player educated in possession football at Ajax.

"I spoke to him on the phone really briefly just to get to know each other," the ex-Ajax captain said.

"He's one of the reasons I wanted to come to Juventus because I heard a lot of good stories about him, the way he plays, the philosophy he has - attacking football - the defending line and how he prepares them.

"Obviously there was a big reason to come here."

Already considered one of Europe's finest in his position, the teenager is now seeking to accelerate his already advanced development as part of a star-studded dressing room.

"Ajax was a younger environment and here I hope that I can learn from great champions like [Giorgio] Chiellini, Gianluigi Buffon, Cristiano and many others," he said.

Pep Guardiola remains hopeful winger Leroy Sane will stay at Manchester City and claims he has not spoken to anyone at Bayern Munich regarding the Germany international.

Bayern are on the lookout for wide players to fill the sizeable void left by Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben with Sane top of their wishlist.

Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and coach Niko Kovac have been vocal in their admiration of the 23-year-old with the former even suggesting the Bundesliga champions are "ready" to make a move should the player express a wish to leave the Etihad Stadium.

Guardiola, speaking ahead of the Asia Trophy clash with Wolves, hinted at dissatisfaction with his former club's public pursuit and outlined his desire to keep Sane in the Premier League.

He told reporters in Shanghai: "For a long time they talk about their interest, but Leroy is our player and hopefully he can stay next season and next season and next season."

Pushed on if he had spoken to anyone at Bayern, Guardiola replied: "No."

City have been relatively quiet in the transfer window so far, with the signing of defensive midfielder Rodri from Atletico Madrid their only major acquisition.

Guardiola said: "We are so happy with the squad we have. I don't know if the players here will stay or if new players will come. But I am delighted with the players we have."

City have been linked with Leicester City's Harry Maguire although it seems Manchester United now lead the race for the England international. Guardiola suggested central defence was an area he was considering strengthening but had options in his squad should a move not materialise.

"There's a chance [of a defender coming in] but I don't know if it will be possible. We [already] have three incredible central defenders and Fernandinho can play in that position," he said.

Salomon Rondon has linked back up with former Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez after leaving West Brom for Dalian Yifang.

Venezuela striker Rondon joins the Chinese Super League side for an undisclosed fee.

The 29-year-old played under Benitez on loan at Newcastle last season, scoring 12 goals in all competitions.

He previously netted 24 times across three Premier League seasons for West Brom following his arrival from Russian outfit Zenit for a reported £12million in 2015.

The Baggies were relegated to the Championship three years later and Rondon has now left the Hawthorns on a permanent basis.

His new team-mates at Dalian include Yannick Carrasco and Marek Hamsik. 

Maybe Juventus are not ready to give up on signing Manchester United star Paul Pogba just yet.

Pogba, 26, has been linked with a return to Turin and a move to Real Madrid as he looks for an Old Trafford exit.

But, just as it looked like Juve were struggling and Madrid was the midfielder's most likely destination, that may have changed.

 

TOP STORY – JUVE TO OFFER THREE PLAYERS IN MOVE FOR POGBA

Juventus could offer a fee plus three players in their move for Manchester United star Pogba, according to Corriere dello Sport.

Full-back Joao Cancelo, attacker Douglas Costa and midfielder Blaise Matuidi are the players mentioned for potential moves in the report.

Meanwhile, ESPN FC report Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has told coach Zinedine Zidane that it will be very difficult to sign Pogba this close season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona are still trying to find a way to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou from Paris Saint-Germain. According to Sky Germany, Barca are offering €100million plus two players, having given PSG a list of six that includes Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, Ivan Rakitic, Nelson Semedo and Malcom. That is up from the earlier offer of €40m plus two players. According to Sport, Barca have made Coutinho and Rakitic priorities to be sold.

- After being linked to Bayern Munich, Callum Hudson-Odoi is set to re-sign with Chelsea. The Daily Mail report the 18-year-old England international will sign a five-year deal worth more than £100,000 per week to stay at Stamford Bridge.

- Giovani Lo Celso apparently wants to join Tottenham, but Spurs are unwilling to meet Real Betis' £60m (€66.8m) asking price, according to The Sun, who say Erik Lamela could be added into a deal. Danny Rose could also reportedly leave Spurs and Sky Sports say PSG are interested in the left-back.

- Arsenal have beaten their north London rivals to the signing of Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba, according to ESPN FC. Arsenal will complete the signing of Saliba for £26.9m (€30m) and loan him back to the Ligue 1 club despite late interest from Spurs, the report says.

- Another reported Arsenal target, Wilfried Zaha, has told Crystal Palace he wants to leave, according to The Sun. Arsenal have reportedly had a £40m bid for the attacker rejected.

- Bayern Munich are ready to meet Celta Vigo midfielder Brais Mendez's €25m release clause, according to Kicker. Mendez, 22, was handed a Spain debut late last year and scored six goals while providing seven assists for Celta in LaLiga in 2018-19.

Juventus goalkeeper Mattia Perin must wait for his move to Benfica after the Portuguese champions postponed the transfer following a medical on Thursday.

Perin, 26, was set for a €15million switch to Benfica after Gianluigi Buffon's return to Turin left the two-time Italy international behind the veteran goalkeeper and Wojciech Szczesny in the pecking order.

However, the shot-stopper only underwent shoulder surgery in April and a longer than expected recovery will see his move to Benfica delayed.

"Sport Lisboa e Benfica informs that in the medicals aftermath, held today, was concluded that the goalkeeper Mattia Perin has a higher than expected recovering process, of approximately four months," a statement from Benfica read.

"In this regard, there was an agreement between the clubs and the player's representatives so that the recovering period might take place at Juventus, completing the transfer process only after its conclusion."

Perin, who arrived at Juventus from Genoa last year, made nine appearances in 2018-19.

Barcelona have loaned Marc Cucurella to Getafe only two days after signing him back from Eibar.

Cucurella caught the eye in his loan spell with Eibar last season and scored in a 2-2 LaLiga draw with Barca in May.

Eibar took up the option to sign him for €2million but Barca inserted a €4m buy-back clause in that deal, which they activated on Tuesday.

Cucurella, who can play as a full-back and a winger, had been linked with Sevilla, Real Betis and Bundesliga clubs Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Monchengladbach.

But he will be playing his football for Getafe in 2019-20 after they agreed a temporary deal with the option to make it a permanent one.

Cucurella made 31 LaLiga appearances for Eibar last term, scoring once.

Lyon boss Sylvinho confirmed Nabil Fekir is in negotiations for a transfer as rumours of the club captain's impending move to Real Betis gather momentum.

The France international, who turned 26 on Thursday, is expected to be announced as a Betis player soon, although a barrier to a reported €25million move could be Giovani Lo Celso's unresolved future.

Betis are believed to want Fekir as a direct, ready-made replacement for Tottenham target Lo Celso but the Seville-based outfit are also said to be demanding €75m for the Argentina midfielder.

That fee would require the usually frugal Spurs to shatter their club record expenditure for the second time in less than a month, having brought in Tanguy Ndombele from Lyon.

Ndombele's former Les Gones team-mate Fekir, at least, appears likely to be playing in Spain next season.

"We don't control the situation," Sylvinho told a news conference.

"He is negotiating his transfer, we don't know when it will be resolved but, for him and for the club, it would be best that it happens as quickly as possible.

"Of course we will miss him if he leaves. Nabil is a wonderful player, his technical level is exemplary, and it's beautiful to watch him play."

Betis, meanwhile, have signed Spain Under-20 goalkeeper Dani Martin from Sporting Gijon on a five-year deal.

Atletico Madrid's close-season spending spree has continued with the €29million acquisition of Spain defender Mario Hermoso from Espanyol.

The 24-year-old centre-back has cost Atletico €25m upfront despite having just 12 months left on his Espanyol contract, with Hermoso signing an five-year deal at the Wanda Metropolitano.

A Real Madrid academy product, Hermoso only made his top-flight debut in the 2017-18 campaign but has since enjoyed a rapid rise.

Hermoso particularly impressed last term as Espanyol - who have a 20 per cent sell-on clause - finished seventh in LaLiga, earning his first Spain cap last November.

With Atletico seeing Diego Godin, Lucas Hernandez, Filipe Luis and Juanfran all depart at the end of last season, Hermoso had long been suggested as a likely arrival.

But Espanyol's apparent initial reluctance to reduce their asking price from the reported €40m release clause in his contract meant negotiations dragged on.

An agreement has been found, though, and Hermoso is the latest defender to join Atletico after Felipe, Renan Lodi and Kieran Trippier, who arrived a day earlier.

Hermoso takes Atletico's reported expenditure to €248m with Marcos Llorente, Joao Felix, Hector Herrera, Nicolas Ibanez and Ivan Saponjic also new to the club, although they recouped €120m from Antoine Griezmann's controversial departure to Barcelona.

Kieran Trippier says he had no hesitation about leaving Tottenham for Atletico Madrid because of his long-held ambition to play abroad.

The right-back signed a three-year contract in the Spanish capital on Wednesday, bringing an end to his four-season stint at Spurs.

Serie A side Napoli expressed interest before Atleti swooped on their replacement for Juanfran, who left the club on a free transfer at the end of June.

Trippier, 28, has the chance to rediscover the form that eluded him last season as he forges a place in Diego Simeone's notoriously mean defence.

"The Premier League is one of the best leagues in the world, but I didn't think twice when Atletico were interested," Trippier said at Thursday's presentation.

"It's a great opportunity to come and live in Madrid. Not many British players come abroad, but I always wanted to play abroad, especially in LaLiga, since I was young.

"I'm looking forward to learning the language straight away, which is my first priority. The quicker I can do that, communicate with my coach and team-mates, the better.

"I want to enjoy playing for Atletico and living in Madrid."

Trippier greeted the local media moments after Atletico sealed the signing of another defender, centre-back Mario Hermoso.

The Spain international, formerly of rivals Real Madrid, arrives from Espanyol in a €29million deal.

If starting his career across town does not attach enough pressure, Hermoso also has the unenviable task of trying to plug the gap left by Diego Godin's departure for Inter.

"It's a beautiful, important challenge," the 24-year-old said.

"Diego has been a symbol for the club. What better way to continue making history. I hope to continue that line."

RB Leipzig have signed Christopher Nkunku from Paris Saint-Germain in a deal reportedly rising to €15million.

The France Under-21 international has signed a five-year contract with the Bundesliga outfit after failing to nail down a regular starting place in Paris.

It is believed Leipzig have paid an up-front fee of €13m, with a further €2m potentially due in bonuses.

Nkunku, a midfielder developed at PSG, made 22 Ligue 1 appearances under Thomas Tuchel last term, starting 13 times.

In arriving at Leipzig, he becomes the third new addition to Julian Nagelsmann's squad, after Hannes Wolf and Luan Candido.

"I have heard a lot about the club and am convinced that the way football is played here suits me very well," Nkunku said.

"I already know some of my new team-mates: I've played with Jean-Kevin Augustin in Paris, and with Dayot Upamecano and Nordi Mukiele for France.

"I'm optimistic that I can come here and settle quickly."

Nkunku is not the only young player on the way out of PSG.

The French champions have allowed teenage attacker Virgiliu Postolachi to leave for Ligue 1 rivals Lille, where he has agreed a four-year contract.

Juventus have won the race for Matthijs de Ligt and handed Maurizio Sarri an €85.5million asset set to immediately challenge for a starting spot.

The Netherlands international commanded the attention of Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester United and more before agreeing a five-year contract in Turin.

De Ligt, 19, captained Ajax with distinction in Europe and the Eredivisie last term and compiled a set of statistics consistent with a player who could change the look of Serie A's strongest defence. 

Our dive into the Opta data illustrates why one half of Juve's established centre-back pairing might be looking over his shoulder.

Bonucci battle brewing

De Ligt has walked through the doors at Allianz Stadium in rather more triumphant fashion than Leonardo Bonucci did almost 12 months ago.

The Italy international returned from an ill-fated stint at AC Milan and resumed his partnership with Giorgio Chiellini at the heart of the four-man defence regularly employed by Massimiliano Allegri.

The results were not as intended.

Juve conceded more goals – 30 – in Serie A than in any of their previous seven title-winning campaigns, and were breached twice in the Champions League on four separate occasions.

De Ligt could apply serious pressure to the 32-year-old's position.

New boss Sarri favours a 4-3-3 system and his shiny new acquisition outperformed fellow right-footer Bonucci in most key defensive measures last term.

Across all competitions, De Ligt won more duels (5.48), aerial contests (3.77) and tackles (0.61) per 90 minutes, while also completing a greater average number of clearances (3.95) and recoveries (6.53).

Dwarfed in each category by the Dutchman, Bonucci ranked last behind Chiellini, Daniele Rugani and the now-retired Andrea Barzagli for duels (3.02), aerial contests (1.75) and clearances (2.86).

 

Aerial prowess an alternative weapon

Sarri's Chelsea were accused of being a one-dimensional team that sought only to break opposition sides down through often tedious passing sequences.

Alvaro Morata and Gonzalo Higuain floundered in their attempts to spearhead the front three and the Blues scored the fewest goals of all top-six sides in the Premier League.

Tormenting defences domestically should be no trouble for Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala, Moise Kean and Juve's high-class attacking cohort, but Sarri would be wise to seek out a variety of scoring sources for an assault on multiple fronts.

In De Ligt, he has an aerial ace capable of climbing above any pack.

The 19-year-old conjured seven goals for Ajax last season: three in the Eredivisie, one against rivals Feyenoord in the KNVB Beker, and a further three in the Champions League.

Six of those were headed, including the towering effort which knocked Juve out of Europe while he also nodded an equaliser for Netherlands in their Nations League victory over England.

Bonucci, scorer of three goals, was the only Bianconeri defender to manage more than two.

Crucial interventions in big matches could tip the selection scale in De Ligt's favour.

 

Durability threatens established order

In the wake of Barzagli's retirement and the end of Martin Caceres' short-term loan, Juve reinforced their defensive stocks by signing Turkey international Merih Demiral from Sassuolo.

The 21-year-old will almost certainly find his place in the pecking order behind Rugani, a favourite of Sarri's since their time together at Empoli.

Bringing in a fifth centre-back to compete for one of two positions could lead the Italian champions to consider replenishing a diminished bank balance.

Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City have reportedly shown interested in Bonucci, whose future is at least less certain than that of captain Chiellini.

What is in no doubt is De Ligt's readiness to carry the load required of a regular starter.

Throughout a demanding 2018-19 season, the reigning Golden Boy award winner turned out more times (55) than Chiellini and Rugani combined. Bonucci, Juve's top appearance-maker, started 14 fewer games.

Sarri demonstrated appreciation for a high degree of availability as he consistently paired David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger together at Stamford Bridge until a knee injury removed the latter from calculations.

Now, armed with hard evidence of De Ligt's excellence, the Bianconeri boss might forge a fresh partnership in Turin to herald the beginning of a new era.

Matthijs de Ligt's protracted move to Juventus has finally been completed, with the defender becoming one of football's priciest teenagers.

The Ajax captain will play for the Serie A champions next term after Juve saw off competition from clubs including Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and Manchester United.

De Ligt's star rose last term with Ajax reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League, as well as claiming a domestic double under coach Erik ten Hag.

But he now faces justifying a fee of €75million, potentially rising to €85.5m, that makes him the most expensive under-20 defender of all time. Omnisport takes a look at the 10 most expensive teenage transfers and how they fared.

Kylian Mbappe: Monaco to Paris Saint-Germain - €180m

Likely to remain the world's most expensive teenage signing for some time, Kylian Mbappe is already well on the way to justifying the €180m outlay PSG made to prise him away from Monaco two years ago. Mbappe had fired Monaco to a shock Ligue 1 title triumph before departing and his goals have continued to flow in the French capital with 33 in just 29 Ligue 1 games last season. Still just 20, Mbappe has arguably eclipsed team-mate Neymar already, while he has won a World Cup with France. Pele has acknowledged comparisons with the forward, who looks a certain Ballon d'Or winner in the near future. It would take a world-record fee to buy Mbappe, but he has hinted he could be open to leaving PSG.

Joao Felix: Benfica to Atletico Madrid - €126m

Potentially rivalling Mbappe for top individual honours in the years to come could be Joao Felix, who shoulders the burden of replacing Antoine Griezmann at Atletico Madrid, assuming the forward forces through his desired move away from the Wanda Metropolitano. Joao Felix hit 20 goals in all competitions for Benfica last term, three of those strikes coming in the Europa League, to announce himself among the world's top talents. It remains to be seen whether he is ready for the step up, with Atletico gambling €126m that the 19-year-old is a star of the future.


Matthijs de Ligt: Ajax to Juventus - €85.5m

Barcelona were linked with De Ligt, having already sealed a deal for club and country team-mate Frenkie de Jong, but the Ajax captain has instead opted for Serie A. There, he will work under the new Juve head coach Maurizio Sarri with European success demanded after the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo failed to deliver the prized Champions League. Domestic dominance is virtually assured, but De Ligt will have to show he can slot straight into one of the planet's tightest defences. A high-profile mistake against England in the Nations League semi-finals showed De Ligt is not yet the complete package, but Italy could be the ideal finishing school.


Anthony Martial: Monaco to Manchester United - €60m

Eyebrows were raised when United parted with €60m for Martial in 2015, with one British newspaper describing the deal as a "waste of money" in a back-page splash. Martial has not quite proved that assessment wrong, although he scored 10 goals in 27 Premier League appearances last term. At 23 he has further development to come and the departure of Jose Mourinho, whose lack of faith in the France forward appeared clear, might well help him make a jump to the next level under successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.


Rodrygo Goes: Santos to Real Madrid - €45m

Real Madrid have been signing young talent in recent seasons in a departure from their Galactico-focused days, although the signing of Eden Hazard and a potential deal for Paul Pogba may change things. Rodrygo Goes will link up with Zinedine Zidane's squad for 2019-20 having remained on loan with Santos after completing a transfer to the LaLiga giants. The 18-year-old is full of promise and Madrid will hope he can be their Neymar.


Vinicius Junior: Flamengo to Real Madrid - €45m

Rodrygo is following in the footsteps of fellow Brazilian Vinicius Junior, who was a rare shining light for Madrid last term, scoring two LaLiga goals. It remains to be seen where Zidane sees Rodrygo and Vinicius fitting in, especially as Hazard seems certain to take up one of the attacking positions and Luka Jovic has also arrived from Eintracht Frankfurt to compete for a striking berth. Fitting everyone in seems set to be a challenge, but Vinicius could be Madrid's future along with Rodrygo.


Luke Shaw: Southampton to Manchester United - €37.5m

Like Martial, Luke Shaw is another player who seems to have laboured under a large price tag at times – which perhaps should be a warning sign for new arrival Aaron Wan-Bissaka after the 21-year-old joined from Crystal Palace. Shaw also had a fractious relationship with Mourinho but made the United left-back spot his own with 29 Premier League starts in 2018-19. The 23-year-old will hope to make further progress this term, but did not make the cut for Gareth Southgate's England squad for the Nations League Finals, with Ben Chilwell and Danny Rose preferred.


Wayne Rooney: Everton to Manchester United - €37m

Wayne Rooney certainly repaid his fee – he was British football's most expensive teenager – becoming United's all-time leading goalscorer and winning five Premier League titles at the club, as well as the 2007-08 Champions League. Rooney will go down as a United great despite affairs such as agitating for a move and falling out with Alex Ferguson. Rooney dropped out of favour in the latter years of his time at Old Trafford and was also sidelined for England, with a return to boyhood club Everton failing to spark. But joining MLS strugglers DC United has been a clever move and Rooney, now 33, is inspiring their rise.


Renato Sanches: Benfica to Bayern Munich - €35m

Bayern thought they were signing a player who would become one of the era's dominant midfielders when they snapped up Renato Sanches from Benfica, but the transfer has not worked out at all. Bayern bought Sanches before he won Euro 2016 with Portugal but, three years later, that remains the highlight of his career. Sanches flopped in a loan spell with Swansea City in the Premier League and seems surplus to requirements at Bayern. The 21-year-old desperately needs to kickstart his career with a move away and has been linked with Turkish giants Fenerbahce.


Gabriel Jesus: Palmeiras to Manchester City - €32m

Handed City's number nine shirt ahead of the 2019-20 season, Gabriel Jesus seems set for a defining campaign. At times after his arrival from Palmeiras the Brazil striker – who just helped his side win the Copa America on home soil – seemed to be preferred to Sergio Aguero by City boss Pep Guardiola, but the tables were turned last term as the Argentina attacker finally won his manager's total faith. Jesus was restricted to just eight Premier League starts in 2018-19 but still scored seven times and he was picked over Aguero for the FA Cup final demolition of Watford, in which he scored a brace.

One of the more prolonged transfer sagas of the close-season is over after Juventus completed the purchase of highly rated Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax.

The 19-year-old is regarded as one of the finest prospects in world football and will cost Juve a total of €85.5million, with the Serie A champions beating off competition from a host of major European clubs for his signature.

Manchester United, Manchester City, Barcelona and Liverpool were all strongly linked with the imposing centre-back, but he will instead bolster Juve's already impressive squad.

Juve have moved with impressive decisiveness in the transfer market in recent times and new coach Maurizio Sarri has a particularly strong array of defenders to choose from next term following confirmation of De Ligt's arrival.

Below, we examined what Sarri's squad looks like after De Ligt's signing, what further changes could be made and how the team might start the season...

GOALKEEPER AND DEFENCE – An end of an era?

There have been changes aplenty in this department at Juve recently. Wojciech Szczesny can expect to remain first choice between the posts, but the return of Gianluigi Buffon on a year-long contract will keep the Pole on his toes.

One of the most surprising things about Juve's close season is their apparent willingness to offload Joao Cancelo, a standout performer last term. He is being strongly linked with Manchester City, as Danilo seems likely to go the other way.

Nevertheless, Juve's defence has been suitably bolstered. With Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci getting on in years, the sought-after De Ligt, Cristian Romero and Merih Demiral provide long-term quality and youthfulness at centre-back (albeit Romero will remain at Genoa on loan next season], while 19-year-old Luca Pellegrini offers competition at left-back.

Sarri's biggest decision will revolve around his centre-back choices. Having worked with Daniele Rugani at Empoli, he might see more action and De Ligt can surely expect to feature regularly.

An end to the Chiellini-Bonucci dynasty might not be far away.

 

MIDFIELD – Big roles for Pjanic and Ramsey

Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot are the new midfield arrivals and both join with massive expectations – particularly the former, who many feel could be Juve's answer to the Marek Hamsik of Sarri's Napoli side.

Sarri's favoured 4-3-3 dictates one of the midfield trio will sit deeper. He likes that player to be very comfortable on the ball and a fine passer, meaning Miralem Pjanic looks set to fill the 'Jorginho role', as the Bosnian appears rather more suited than Sami Khedira and Emre Can.

Given Rabiot's lack of action over the past year at Paris Saint-Germain, he looks to have the most work to do to break into the starting XI, while Rodrigo Bentancur's fine development means he is likely to become essential.

However, should Juve pull off the signing of Paul Pogba from Manchester United, he would surely be an automatic pick on the left of the central trident.

 

ATTACK – Departures galore expected

Juve's options in attack are numerous, and several of them were being linked with moves away even before Sarri's appointment was confirmed.

Paulo Dybala, Juan Cuadrado, Douglas Costa and Mario Mandzukic are all reportedly for sale, while Gonzalo Higuain's situation is by no means clear.

The Argentinian excelled under Sarri at Napoli and joined him at Chelsea in January, but he underwhelmed in the Premier League. As such, it is difficult to see how he fits in at Juve, but he and the coach clearly have a rapport.

Federico Bernardeschi and Cristiano Ronaldo are untouchable, while Moise Kean showed plenty of promise towards the end of last season, but if all of Sarri's expendables leave, they will be left a little short on the flanks.

Few wingers have been linked with the Bianconeri, though they are said to hold an interest in Callum Hudson-Odoi, Federico Chiesa and Burnley youngster Dwight McNeil.

 

POSSIBLE JUVENTUS XI FOR 2019-20

Szczesny; De Sciglio, De Ligt, Rugani, Alex Sandro; Pjanic, Ramsey, Bentancur; Bernardeschi, Ronaldo, Mandzukic

Juventus have signed the much-coveted Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax for an initial €75million on a five-year contract, the Serie A champions have confirmed.

The teenage defender agreed personal terms earlier this month and successfully completed a medical on Wednesday after Juve committed to a steep increase on their reported opening offer of €50m.

De Ligt's value skyrocketed across two exceptional seasons as part of Ajax's first team, during which the 19-year-old became club captain and one of the most highly rated youngsters in world football.

Barcelona, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain had all been heavily linked with the Netherlands international before the Bianconeri moved to make him their seventh signing of the close season.

Juve will pay €75m over five years for the player, plus a further €10.5m in add-ons.

A powerful, commanding and technically gifted centre-back, De Ligt rose to prominence on a greater scale last season when helping Ajax to the Champions League semi-finals.

Although they came unstuck in a dramatic collapse against Tottenham, De Ligt starred throughout Ajax's unlikely run, netting the winner in the last-eight victory over Juventus.

In signing De Ligt, Juve have brought in a worthy heir to club icon Giorgio Chiellini, who celebrates his 35th birthday in August.

His arrival could conclude Maurizio Sarri's remodelling in defence, the new head coach having already brought in Merih Demiral, Luca Pellegrini and Cristian Romero, who duly rejoined Genoa on loan.

Juventus have signed the much-coveted Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax for an initial €75million on a five-year contract, the Serie A champions have confirmed.

The teenage defender agreed personal terms earlier this month and successfully completed a medical on Wednesday after Juve committed to a steep increase on their reported opening offer of €50m.

De Ligt's value skyrocketed across two exceptional seasons as part of Ajax's first team, during which the 19-year-old became club captain and one of the most highly rated youngsters in world football.

Barcelona, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain had all been heavily linked with the Netherlands international before the Bianconeri moved to make him their seventh signing of the close-season.

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