Bayern Munich sign Netherlands star Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus
Reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich have further fortified their defence with the signing of Netherlands centre-back Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus.
The 22-year-old has signed a five-year contract at the Allianz Arena and becomes the latest big name arrival in Bavaria this summer after the club captured Senegal superstar Sadio Mane.
De Ligt made his breakthrough at Ajax aged just 17, emerging from the club's famed academy as one of their brightest ever prospects before making over 100 first team appearances for the Amsterdam outfit and becoming the first defender in history to win Europe's Golden Boy award in 2018.
Having been the youngest Ajax player to ever wear the club's armband, De Ligt went on to join Juventus in 2019 and featured 117 times for the Old Lady of Italian football, while establishing himself as a first-team regular for his country.
He now joins Bayern in a summer of change for Julian Nagelsmann's men, who have seen Robert Lewandowski agree to join Barcelona and lost Niklas Süle to rivals Borussia Dortmund but moved quickly to bring in Mane, as well as De Ligt's former teammate in Amsterdam, Noussair Mazraoui, and fellow Ajax academy graduate, Ryan Gravenberch.
"A strong team doesn't just need a strong attack, and we're strengthening our defence to an absolutely top level with this transfer," said club CEO Oliver Kahn.
“We wanted to bring Matthijs to Munich three years ago. We were convinced of his qualities as a defender then, and we are even more so today," added sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic. "With his professionalism, his desire and his wonderful character, Matthijs fits our team as well as our ambitions. He will play an important role at Bayern on and off the pitch. He was already a leading player at Ajax as a youngster, and he is still capable of development at the high level he is at, at the age of 22.”
"I am very happy to become a player of this great club. Bayern is the most successful club in Germany, one of the most successful clubs in Europe and also in the world," a delighted de Ligt said of his signing. "Right from the start, I felt honest appreciation from the sporting management, the coach, and also the board of directors, and that convinced me. In addition, Bayern is an outstandingly managed club with great goals. I am very happy that I will now be part of Bayern's history."
De Ligt will join up with the club on its pre-season tour of the USA that includes friendlies against DC United (20 July) and Manchester City (23 July).
The 38-cap Netherlands international could make his full debut for Bayern in the season's traditional curtain-raiser when the reigning league champions meet 2021/22 DFB Cup winners RB Leipzig in this year's Supercup on 30 July.
His first Bundesliga outing could then come on Matchday 1 of the 2022/23 campaign when Bayern take on UEFA Europa League holders Eintracht Frankfurt on 5 August.
He inherits the No.4 shirt, prevously worn at Bayern by Süle.
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