De Ligt’s omission opens door for summer switch

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Ajax have left Matthijs de Ligt out of their squad for a training camp in Austria, leaving the way clear for Juventus to swoop for the defender (Juve 4/9 – Serie A Outright).

De Ligt, 19, has been linked with several top clubs since the end of last season, with the Old Lady joined by Barcelona, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain in showing an interest in the Netherlands international stopper.

A couple of solid seasons with Ajax in the Eredivisie and Champions League has seen the talented youngster leap to the attention of the big-hitters and it seems inevitable that he will be on his way from Amsterdam before the new season begins.

Whether that is to Turin only time will tell but the Dutch club issued a statement on Saturday to suggest that De Ligt's days at the Johan Cruyff Arena are now numbered.

“We left Saturday afternoon with 28 players to the training camp in Bramberg, Austria,” it read. “Awaiting a possible transfer, Matthijs de Ligt does not travel with the group.”

Having joined the club aged just nine, De Ligt has played 117 times in all competitions for the Ajax first team, scoring 13 goals, while he has 17 caps for the Oranje.

Juve are said to be favourites for the youngster's signature although Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu said last week he knows where De Ligt would be playing next season, but stopped short of suggesting it would be the Nou Camp.

It is thought that the Leiderdorp-born ace is valued at around £70m, a price Barca would be prepared to pay if it helped them retain their La Liga title (Barca 8/11 – La Liga Outright).

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