Standout Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt has said he’s enjoying his time in Turin and played down a summer move away from the club.
De Ligt is enjoying a stellar season with the Bianconeri after taking some time to settle in Piedmont. His first two seasons with Juve were marred by injuries and COVID-19 but he’s displayed the stout form that convinced the Turin giants to spend €75m to acquire his services during his third campaign.
However, the defender’s agent, Mino Raiola, has tried his utmost to destabilise his client. Towards the end of 2021, Raiola commented that De Ligt was ready to leave Juventus at the end of the season which many saw as a ploy to gain greater leverage in future contract negotiations.
It’s believed that the super-agent wants De Ligt’s hefty release clause removed from his Bianconeri contract to ensure he’s more accessible for potential suitors.
Matthijs de Ligt plays down a summer departure from Juventus
For so long, it’s been Raiola who’s done all the talking regarding De Ligt’s future. What about the player himself?
The Dutchman, speaking to Rondo (via Fabrizio Romano), insisted that he’s happy at Juventus and played down a summer move away from Turin.
“What Mino Raiola said [leave in July] happened three months ago, so many things can change. At the moment I’m focused on this season,” he said.
“I am really enjoying myself here at Juventus. I’m learning more every week and I really like that.”
Injuries to veterans Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci this season have thrust more responsibility onto the 22-year-old, but De Ligt has said he’s relished the challenge of marshalling the Bianconeri backline.
“I noticed that Juve is giving me more and more responsibility. Now Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci are often injured, so there is even more pressure on my shoulders, which I like. I realise that I can take on an important role,” he added.
For Juventus, securing De Ligt for the long haul should be a summer priority. The Dutchman’s recent comments suggest that he’s satisfied with the direction that the club’s heading which will ease fears over the player pushing for a transfer at the end of the season.
That’s the Dusan Vlahovic effect, folks!