Matthijs De Ligt has decided to snub Barcelona and Manchester United for Juventus in light of two key reasons, according to reports from Spain.
The 19-year-old defender has emerged as one of European football’s hottest properties this summer amid reports Ajax are prepared to let him leave this summer.
A host of Europe’s top sides had been mentioned as suitors, with United, Barcelona, PSG, Juventus and Liverpool all reporting to be considering moves for the teenager.
But until Saturday, De Ligt’s destination was unknown when a surprise report claimed the player had agreed to a move to Juvenus.
And now reports in the Spanish media have shed light on De Ligt’s decision to opt for Italy, where for a long time, Juve looked the least likely of his transfer options.
It’s claimed Barcelona turned down the chance to sign De Ligt for three significant reasons.
According to Spanish publication Marca, Barcelona could not countenance a deal that would ultimately have cost them more than €130million (£116million).
They claim Barca did not want to upset several senior stars by handing the teenager a hefty salary, with his demands putting him third on their list of high earners behind Lionel Messi and Phillipe Coutinho.
It was also felt by senior club officials that Barcelona are already well stocked for central defenders, with Clement Lenglet, Samuel Umtiti and Gerard Pique already among their options.
And finally, Marca say Barcelona are willing to put their entire transfer budget this summer into a deal to bring Neymar back to the club.
While Marca say Barcelona were ultimately De Ligt’s preference, a move to Juventus came around after only they and PSG proved the only side able to meet his wage demands and offer him Champions League football.
Ligue 1 was not deemed competitive enough for the player, while Manchester United’s absence of Champions League football ultimately cost them any chance of landing him.
Reports in Italy claim a deal between Ajax and Juventus has already been struck with Juve paying the Dutch side €70m (£62.6m).