Matthjis de Ligt is one of the most wanted men in world football, and it appears that he’s got at least one more admirer.
Calciomercato is reporting that AC Milan has joined the list of teams queuing up to retain the 19 year-old Ajax defender’s signature, with the price being quoted at €50 million. In addition to Milan, AS Roma have also inquired about his services, with Barcelona and Juventus also apparently displaying an interest. De Ligt even trained with Juventus this past summer, but no deal was reached between the clubs or the parties involved.
Roma and AC Milan open talks with de Ligt [@86_longo] https://t.co/XxPz7uWAwI pic.twitter.com/RFZB0AmmmI— CalcioMercato (En) (@CmdotCom_En) October 12, 2018
The teenage centre back has already made 76 appearances for Ajax in his brief career, and he’s also scored eight goals for the club in that time. He’s appeared 51 times in the Eredivisie, where he’s collected six of his career goals, a slightly better goal-scoring ratio than he has over all, which includes appearances in both the Europa League and Champions League.
Goal-scoring, however, is not necessarily the thing that teams are looking for in a central defender, and de Ligt has been a key young player defensively as well. And as for leadership, something that is also key for defenders, you’re not wrong if you think you see a captain’s armband on him.
To be named captain of Ajax at the tender age of 19 in addition to starting in the Champions League and Eredivisie is no mean feat. Milan would be adding a player of remarkable talent and be beating some of the powers of world football by adding him. Of course, the price tag reflects that, and so it would be surprising to see Milan pursuing a player with that kind of price tag in addition to the addition of Flamengo midfielder Lucas Paqueta in a deal that is rumored to be for €30 million plus add-ons.
Of course, if anyone can pull this kind of deal off, it would be Leonardo. Mino Raiola is apparently also involved in this deal, and given that Milan is suddenly back in the good graces of the agent, never say never on a deal like this. However, with Mattia Caldara and Alessio Romagnoli in central defense already, this deal isn’t as critical as say a deal for a midfielder or another striker. It would, however, signal intent that Elliott Management isn’t shy about getting Milan back to being a power in world football right away.