Maybe Juventus are not ready to give up on signing Manchester United star Paul Pogba just yet.

Pogba, 26, has been linked with a return to Turin and a move to Real Madrid as he looks for an Old Trafford exit.

But, just as it looked like Juve were struggling and Madrid was the midfielder's most likely destination, that may have changed.

 

TOP STORY – JUVE TO OFFER THREE PLAYERS IN MOVE FOR POGBA

Juventus could offer a fee plus three players in their move for Manchester United star Pogba, according to Corriere dello Sport.

Full-back Joao Cancelo, attacker Douglas Costa and midfielder Blaise Matuidi are the players mentioned for potential moves in the report.

Meanwhile, ESPN FC report Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has told coach Zinedine Zidane that it will be very difficult to sign Pogba this close season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona are still trying to find a way to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou from Paris Saint-Germain. According to Sky Germany, Barca are offering €100million plus two players, having given PSG a list of six that includes Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, Ivan Rakitic, Nelson Semedo and Malcom. That is up from the earlier offer of €40m plus two players. According to Sport, Barca have made Coutinho and Rakitic priorities to be sold.

- After being linked to Bayern Munich, Callum Hudson-Odoi is set to re-sign with Chelsea. The Daily Mail report the 18-year-old England international will sign a five-year deal worth more than £100,000 per week to stay at Stamford Bridge.

- Giovani Lo Celso apparently wants to join Tottenham, but Spurs are unwilling to meet Real Betis' £60m (€66.8m) asking price, according to The Sun, who say Erik Lamela could be added into a deal. Danny Rose could also reportedly leave Spurs and Sky Sports say PSG are interested in the left-back.

- Arsenal have beaten their north London rivals to the signing of Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba, according to ESPN FC. Arsenal will complete the signing of Saliba for £26.9m (€30m) and loan him back to the Ligue 1 club despite late interest from Spurs, the report says.

- Another reported Arsenal target, Wilfried Zaha, has told Crystal Palace he wants to leave, according to The Sun. Arsenal have reportedly had a £40m bid for the attacker rejected.

- Bayern Munich are ready to meet Celta Vigo midfielder Brais Mendez's €25m release clause, according to Kicker. Mendez, 22, was handed a Spain debut late last year and scored six goals while providing seven assists for Celta in LaLiga in 2018-19.

Juventus goalkeeper Mattia Perin must wait for his move to Benfica after the Portuguese champions postponed the transfer following a medical on Thursday.

Perin, 26, was set for a €15million switch to Benfica after Gianluigi Buffon's return to Turin left the two-time Italy international behind the veteran goalkeeper and Wojciech Szczesny in the pecking order.

However, the shot-stopper only underwent shoulder surgery in April and a longer than expected recovery will see his move to Benfica delayed.

"Sport Lisboa e Benfica informs that in the medicals aftermath, held today, was concluded that the goalkeeper Mattia Perin has a higher than expected recovering process, of approximately four months," a statement from Benfica read.

"In this regard, there was an agreement between the clubs and the player's representatives so that the recovering period might take place at Juventus, completing the transfer process only after its conclusion."

Perin, who arrived at Juventus from Genoa last year, made nine appearances in 2018-19.

Juventus have won the race for Matthijs de Ligt and handed Maurizio Sarri an €85.5million asset set to immediately challenge for a starting spot.

The Netherlands international commanded the attention of Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester United and more before agreeing a five-year contract in Turin.

De Ligt, 19, captained Ajax with distinction in Europe and the Eredivisie last term and compiled a set of statistics consistent with a player who could change the look of Serie A's strongest defence. 

Our dive into the Opta data illustrates why one half of Juve's established centre-back pairing might be looking over his shoulder.

Bonucci battle brewing

De Ligt has walked through the doors at Allianz Stadium in rather more triumphant fashion than Leonardo Bonucci did almost 12 months ago.

The Italy international returned from an ill-fated stint at AC Milan and resumed his partnership with Giorgio Chiellini at the heart of the four-man defence regularly employed by Massimiliano Allegri.

The results were not as intended.

Juve conceded more goals – 30 – in Serie A than in any of their previous seven title-winning campaigns, and were breached twice in the Champions League on four separate occasions.

De Ligt could apply serious pressure to the 32-year-old's position.

New boss Sarri favours a 4-3-3 system and his shiny new acquisition outperformed fellow right-footer Bonucci in most key defensive measures last term.

Across all competitions, De Ligt won more duels (5.48), aerial contests (3.77) and tackles (0.61) per 90 minutes, while also completing a greater average number of clearances (3.95) and recoveries (6.53).

Dwarfed in each category by the Dutchman, Bonucci ranked last behind Chiellini, Daniele Rugani and the now-retired Andrea Barzagli for duels (3.02), aerial contests (1.75) and clearances (2.86).

 

Aerial prowess an alternative weapon

Sarri's Chelsea were accused of being a one-dimensional team that sought only to break opposition sides down through often tedious passing sequences.

Alvaro Morata and Gonzalo Higuain floundered in their attempts to spearhead the front three and the Blues scored the fewest goals of all top-six sides in the Premier League.

Tormenting defences domestically should be no trouble for Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala, Moise Kean and Juve's high-class attacking cohort, but Sarri would be wise to seek out a variety of scoring sources for an assault on multiple fronts.

In De Ligt, he has an aerial ace capable of climbing above any pack.

The 19-year-old conjured seven goals for Ajax last season: three in the Eredivisie, one against rivals Feyenoord in the KNVB Beker, and a further three in the Champions League.

Six of those were headed, including the towering effort which knocked Juve out of Europe while he also nodded an equaliser for Netherlands in their Nations League victory over England.

Bonucci, scorer of three goals, was the only Bianconeri defender to manage more than two.

Crucial interventions in big matches could tip the selection scale in De Ligt's favour.

 

Durability threatens established order

In the wake of Barzagli's retirement and the end of Martin Caceres' short-term loan, Juve reinforced their defensive stocks by signing Turkey international Merih Demiral from Sassuolo.

The 21-year-old will almost certainly find his place in the pecking order behind Rugani, a favourite of Sarri's since their time together at Empoli.

Bringing in a fifth centre-back to compete for one of two positions could lead the Italian champions to consider replenishing a diminished bank balance.

Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City have reportedly shown interested in Bonucci, whose future is at least less certain than that of captain Chiellini.

What is in no doubt is De Ligt's readiness to carry the load required of a regular starter.

Throughout a demanding 2018-19 season, the reigning Golden Boy award winner turned out more times (55) than Chiellini and Rugani combined. Bonucci, Juve's top appearance-maker, started 14 fewer games.

Sarri demonstrated appreciation for a high degree of availability as he consistently paired David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger together at Stamford Bridge until a knee injury removed the latter from calculations.

Now, armed with hard evidence of De Ligt's excellence, the Bianconeri boss might forge a fresh partnership in Turin to herald the beginning of a new era.

Matthijs de Ligt's protracted move to Juventus has finally been completed, with the defender becoming one of football's priciest teenagers.

The Ajax captain will play for the Serie A champions next term after Juve saw off competition from clubs including Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and Manchester United.

De Ligt's star rose last term with Ajax reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League, as well as claiming a domestic double under coach Erik ten Hag.

But he now faces justifying a fee of €75million, potentially rising to €85.5m, that makes him the most expensive under-20 defender of all time. Omnisport takes a look at the 10 most expensive teenage transfers and how they fared.

Kylian Mbappe: Monaco to Paris Saint-Germain - €180m

Likely to remain the world's most expensive teenage signing for some time, Kylian Mbappe is already well on the way to justifying the €180m outlay PSG made to prise him away from Monaco two years ago. Mbappe had fired Monaco to a shock Ligue 1 title triumph before departing and his goals have continued to flow in the French capital with 33 in just 29 Ligue 1 games last season. Still just 20, Mbappe has arguably eclipsed team-mate Neymar already, while he has won a World Cup with France. Pele has acknowledged comparisons with the forward, who looks a certain Ballon d'Or winner in the near future. It would take a world-record fee to buy Mbappe, but he has hinted he could be open to leaving PSG.

Joao Felix: Benfica to Atletico Madrid - €126m

Potentially rivalling Mbappe for top individual honours in the years to come could be Joao Felix, who shoulders the burden of replacing Antoine Griezmann at Atletico Madrid, assuming the forward forces through his desired move away from the Wanda Metropolitano. Joao Felix hit 20 goals in all competitions for Benfica last term, three of those strikes coming in the Europa League, to announce himself among the world's top talents. It remains to be seen whether he is ready for the step up, with Atletico gambling €126m that the 19-year-old is a star of the future.


Matthijs de Ligt: Ajax to Juventus - €85.5m

Barcelona were linked with De Ligt, having already sealed a deal for club and country team-mate Frenkie de Jong, but the Ajax captain has instead opted for Serie A. There, he will work under the new Juve head coach Maurizio Sarri with European success demanded after the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo failed to deliver the prized Champions League. Domestic dominance is virtually assured, but De Ligt will have to show he can slot straight into one of the planet's tightest defences. A high-profile mistake against England in the Nations League semi-finals showed De Ligt is not yet the complete package, but Italy could be the ideal finishing school.


Anthony Martial: Monaco to Manchester United - €60m

Eyebrows were raised when United parted with €60m for Martial in 2015, with one British newspaper describing the deal as a "waste of money" in a back-page splash. Martial has not quite proved that assessment wrong, although he scored 10 goals in 27 Premier League appearances last term. At 23 he has further development to come and the departure of Jose Mourinho, whose lack of faith in the France forward appeared clear, might well help him make a jump to the next level under successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.


Rodrygo Goes: Santos to Real Madrid - €45m

Real Madrid have been signing young talent in recent seasons in a departure from their Galactico-focused days, although the signing of Eden Hazard and a potential deal for Paul Pogba may change things. Rodrygo Goes will link up with Zinedine Zidane's squad for 2019-20 having remained on loan with Santos after completing a transfer to the LaLiga giants. The 18-year-old is full of promise and Madrid will hope he can be their Neymar.


Vinicius Junior: Flamengo to Real Madrid - €45m

Rodrygo is following in the footsteps of fellow Brazilian Vinicius Junior, who was a rare shining light for Madrid last term, scoring two LaLiga goals. It remains to be seen where Zidane sees Rodrygo and Vinicius fitting in, especially as Hazard seems certain to take up one of the attacking positions and Luka Jovic has also arrived from Eintracht Frankfurt to compete for a striking berth. Fitting everyone in seems set to be a challenge, but Vinicius could be Madrid's future along with Rodrygo.


Luke Shaw: Southampton to Manchester United - €37.5m

Like Martial, Luke Shaw is another player who seems to have laboured under a large price tag at times – which perhaps should be a warning sign for new arrival Aaron Wan-Bissaka after the 21-year-old joined from Crystal Palace. Shaw also had a fractious relationship with Mourinho but made the United left-back spot his own with 29 Premier League starts in 2018-19. The 23-year-old will hope to make further progress this term, but did not make the cut for Gareth Southgate's England squad for the Nations League Finals, with Ben Chilwell and Danny Rose preferred.


Wayne Rooney: Everton to Manchester United - €37m

Wayne Rooney certainly repaid his fee – he was British football's most expensive teenager – becoming United's all-time leading goalscorer and winning five Premier League titles at the club, as well as the 2007-08 Champions League. Rooney will go down as a United great despite affairs such as agitating for a move and falling out with Alex Ferguson. Rooney dropped out of favour in the latter years of his time at Old Trafford and was also sidelined for England, with a return to boyhood club Everton failing to spark. But joining MLS strugglers DC United has been a clever move and Rooney, now 33, is inspiring their rise.


Renato Sanches: Benfica to Bayern Munich - €35m

Bayern thought they were signing a player who would become one of the era's dominant midfielders when they snapped up Renato Sanches from Benfica, but the transfer has not worked out at all. Bayern bought Sanches before he won Euro 2016 with Portugal but, three years later, that remains the highlight of his career. Sanches flopped in a loan spell with Swansea City in the Premier League and seems surplus to requirements at Bayern. The 21-year-old desperately needs to kickstart his career with a move away and has been linked with Turkish giants Fenerbahce.


Gabriel Jesus: Palmeiras to Manchester City - €32m

Handed City's number nine shirt ahead of the 2019-20 season, Gabriel Jesus seems set for a defining campaign. At times after his arrival from Palmeiras the Brazil striker – who just helped his side win the Copa America on home soil – seemed to be preferred to Sergio Aguero by City boss Pep Guardiola, but the tables were turned last term as the Argentina attacker finally won his manager's total faith. Jesus was restricted to just eight Premier League starts in 2018-19 but still scored seven times and he was picked over Aguero for the FA Cup final demolition of Watford, in which he scored a brace.

One of the more prolonged transfer sagas of the close-season is over after Juventus completed the purchase of highly rated Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax.

The 19-year-old is regarded as one of the finest prospects in world football and will cost Juve a total of €85.5million, with the Serie A champions beating off competition from a host of major European clubs for his signature.

Manchester United, Manchester City, Barcelona and Liverpool were all strongly linked with the imposing centre-back, but he will instead bolster Juve's already impressive squad.

Juve have moved with impressive decisiveness in the transfer market in recent times and new coach Maurizio Sarri has a particularly strong array of defenders to choose from next term following confirmation of De Ligt's arrival.

Below, we examined what Sarri's squad looks like after De Ligt's signing, what further changes could be made and how the team might start the season...

GOALKEEPER AND DEFENCE – An end of an era?

There have been changes aplenty in this department at Juve recently. Wojciech Szczesny can expect to remain first choice between the posts, but the return of Gianluigi Buffon on a year-long contract will keep the Pole on his toes.

One of the most surprising things about Juve's close season is their apparent willingness to offload Joao Cancelo, a standout performer last term. He is being strongly linked with Manchester City, as Danilo seems likely to go the other way.

Nevertheless, Juve's defence has been suitably bolstered. With Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci getting on in years, the sought-after De Ligt, Cristian Romero and Merih Demiral provide long-term quality and youthfulness at centre-back (albeit Romero will remain at Genoa on loan next season], while 19-year-old Luca Pellegrini offers competition at left-back.

Sarri's biggest decision will revolve around his centre-back choices. Having worked with Daniele Rugani at Empoli, he might see more action and De Ligt can surely expect to feature regularly.

An end to the Chiellini-Bonucci dynasty might not be far away.

 

MIDFIELD – Big roles for Pjanic and Ramsey

Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot are the new midfield arrivals and both join with massive expectations – particularly the former, who many feel could be Juve's answer to the Marek Hamsik of Sarri's Napoli side.

Sarri's favoured 4-3-3 dictates one of the midfield trio will sit deeper. He likes that player to be very comfortable on the ball and a fine passer, meaning Miralem Pjanic looks set to fill the 'Jorginho role', as the Bosnian appears rather more suited than Sami Khedira and Emre Can.

Given Rabiot's lack of action over the past year at Paris Saint-Germain, he looks to have the most work to do to break into the starting XI, while Rodrigo Bentancur's fine development means he is likely to become essential.

However, should Juve pull off the signing of Paul Pogba from Manchester United, he would surely be an automatic pick on the left of the central trident.

 

ATTACK – Departures galore expected

Juve's options in attack are numerous, and several of them were being linked with moves away even before Sarri's appointment was confirmed.

Paulo Dybala, Juan Cuadrado, Douglas Costa and Mario Mandzukic are all reportedly for sale, while Gonzalo Higuain's situation is by no means clear.

The Argentinian excelled under Sarri at Napoli and joined him at Chelsea in January, but he underwhelmed in the Premier League. As such, it is difficult to see how he fits in at Juve, but he and the coach clearly have a rapport.

Federico Bernardeschi and Cristiano Ronaldo are untouchable, while Moise Kean showed plenty of promise towards the end of last season, but if all of Sarri's expendables leave, they will be left a little short on the flanks.

Few wingers have been linked with the Bianconeri, though they are said to hold an interest in Callum Hudson-Odoi, Federico Chiesa and Burnley youngster Dwight McNeil.

 

POSSIBLE JUVENTUS XI FOR 2019-20

Szczesny; De Sciglio, De Ligt, Rugani, Alex Sandro; Pjanic, Ramsey, Bentancur; Bernardeschi, Ronaldo, Mandzukic

Juventus have signed the much-coveted Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax for an initial €75million on a five-year contract, the Serie A champions have confirmed.

The teenage defender agreed personal terms earlier this month and successfully completed a medical on Wednesday after Juve committed to a steep increase on their reported opening offer of €50m.

De Ligt's value skyrocketed across two exceptional seasons as part of Ajax's first team, during which the 19-year-old became club captain and one of the most highly rated youngsters in world football.

Barcelona, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain had all been heavily linked with the Netherlands international before the Bianconeri moved to make him their seventh signing of the close season.

Juve will pay €75m over five years for the player, plus a further €10.5m in add-ons.

A powerful, commanding and technically gifted centre-back, De Ligt rose to prominence on a greater scale last season when helping Ajax to the Champions League semi-finals.

Although they came unstuck in a dramatic collapse against Tottenham, De Ligt starred throughout Ajax's unlikely run, netting the winner in the last-eight victory over Juventus.

In signing De Ligt, Juve have brought in a worthy heir to club icon Giorgio Chiellini, who celebrates his 35th birthday in August.

His arrival could conclude Maurizio Sarri's remodelling in defence, the new head coach having already brought in Merih Demiral, Luca Pellegrini and Cristian Romero, who duly rejoined Genoa on loan.

Juventus have signed the much-coveted Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax for an initial €75million on a five-year contract, the Serie A champions have confirmed.

The teenage defender agreed personal terms earlier this month and successfully completed a medical on Wednesday after Juve committed to a steep increase on their reported opening offer of €50m.

De Ligt's value skyrocketed across two exceptional seasons as part of Ajax's first team, during which the 19-year-old became club captain and one of the most highly rated youngsters in world football.

Barcelona, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain had all been heavily linked with the Netherlands international before the Bianconeri moved to make him their seventh signing of the close-season.

Where will Neymar be playing in 2019-20? It is the €222million question.

After joining Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record fee in 2017, Neymar wants to leave the Ligue 1 champions.

Only a select few of Europe's elite can afford the Brazil superstar. Could a sensational move to Turin be on the cards?

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR SR TO TALK TO JUVE

Neymar could team up with Cristiano Ronaldo at Serie A champions Juventus.

That is according to Rai Sport following a report claiming Neymar's father will meet Juve sporting director Fabio Paratici in Turin.

Neymar wants to leave Paris Saint-Germain following his world-record €222m transfer in 2017 and the Brazil international has been linked with a return to Barcelona and LaLiga giants Real Madrid.

 

ROUND-UP

- The future of Luka Modric is once again in the spotlight, but the Real Madrid star is reluctant to leave, according to Marca amid interest from AC Milan. The speculation comes as the Rossoneri also look to bolster their defence. Gianluca Di Marzio says Milan are keen on signing €40m-rated Merih Demiral from Juventus, while Tuttosport reports the Italian giants have turned to Manchester United's Eric Bailly after being put off by Liverpool's valuation of Dejan Lovren.

- With Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben no longer around, Bayern Munich are desperate to reinforce their wide areas but the Independent claims the Bundesliga champions have given up on signing Callum Hudson-Odoi from Chelsea.

- Lyon captain Nabil Fekir is attracting a lot of interest from LaLiga and Valencia are now in pole position to sign the France international, according to Le10Sport. Diario Sport says Barcelona's Rafinha Alcantara is also hopeful of joining Valencia.

- According to Marca, Barcelona are ready to sell Arsenal and Tottenham target Malcom for £55m (€60.9m). Everton and Paris Saint-Germain are also reportedly interested in Malcom, who only arrived from Bordeaux in 2018-19.

- CalcioMercato claims Premier League giants Manchester United have entered the race to sign Roma sensation Nicolo Zaniolo. The 20-year-old has reportedly been involved in a tug-of-war between Tottenham and Juventus.

Inter are edging closer to Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku, who sat out Wednesday's friendly win over Leeds United in Australia. However, Corriere dello Sport also says Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani is an alternative for the Serie A side.

Mattia Perin insists there are no hard feelings over his impending Juventus exit as he closes in on a move to Benfica.

The goalkeeper, 26, is set to join the Portuguese champions subject to a medical – just a year after signing for Juve from Genoa.

Gianluigi Buffon's surprise return to the Italian champions a year on from his move to Paris Saint-Germain mean chances are likely to be limited at the Allianz Stadium for Perin, who was understudy to Wojciech Szczesny last season.

A fee of around €15million has reportedly been agreed between the sides, with promising Benfica full-back Joao Ferreira poised to head in the opposite direction to the Bianconeri, who are set to seal the capture of defender Matthijs de Ligt.

Perin says he is in no doubt over the move and has always hoped to be able to experience playing abroad.

"I'm happy, I'm going to Benfica to play for the champions," he said. "It's an exciting adventure. I want to show my value and put into practice everything I learned even during the last season at Juventus."

He added: "In Turin I found a group of exemplary players both outside and inside the field and I learned so much because they are all champions. For this I thank the company because it taught me a lot." 

Perin, who has been sidelined since shoulder surgery in April, also admitted he needs regular first-team football if he is to force his way back into the Italy squad ahead of Euro 2020.

"I'm recovering from the injury and I will return to the field between mid-September and early October," added Perin, who has been capped twice by his country at senior level. 

"I want to return to play with the aim of winning a jersey for next year's European Championship."

Paul Pogba's agent Mino Raiola has refused to discount the prospect of the Manchester United midfielder returning to Juventus.

Raiola has confirmed the France star is keen for a new challenge three years after returning to United from Juve in what was then a world-record fee of £89.3million.

Pogba appears most likely to join either Real Madrid or Juve if he leaves Old Trafford, although both clubs are likely to face difficulty in generating sufficient funds to tempt United into a sale.

The Serie A champions are poised to sign Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax in a deal that could reportedly cost them as much as €80m, meaning they would almost certainly need to sell players or offer a part-exchange deal to United to stand any chance of securing Pogba's signature.

However, Raiola is not prepared to rule out Pogba's return to Turin, telling reporters on Wednesday: "I live my life day by day. This is what I can say. Today I am here; tomorrow, I don't know."

For now, Raiola is more concerned with finalising De Ligt's move to Juve from Eredivisie champions Ajax.

Describing reports linking the centre-back with Barcelona as "bull***t", he thinks De Ligt's decision to join Juve could prove pivotal to his aspirations of becoming the world's best player.

"It's not a matter of being ambitious or not," he said. "Juventus is the club that most suits his career ideas.

"It is important for a defender to play in Italy, to learn. In his mind, he wants to become the best footballer in the world. That is why this is a necessary stage in his career.

"Amongst the youngsters [in the world] he is number one, for sure. Then, it is not too hard to become the best in the world, but you have to work for it.

"He is the most similar player to - or even better than - [Pavel] Nedved in terms of mentality, and he is similar to Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] for his ambition. He has got everything to become what he has to become."

Matthijs de Ligt arrived at Juventus' health facility on Wednesday to complete the final formalities of his long-awaited transfer from Ajax.

The Serie A champions published a video to social media of Netherlands defender De Ligt acknowledging fans and posing for photos ahead of his medical.

The 19-year-old flew into Turin on Tuesday to finalise what will reportedly be an €80million move.

Having attracted reported attention from Barcelona, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, De Ligt - who scored the goal that knocked Juve out of the Champions League last season - settled on Allianz Stadium as his preferred destination and the Italian giants eventually came to an agreement with Ajax.

He is tipped to a sign a five-year deal.

Pending the successful completion of his medical, De Ligt will become the Bianconeri's seventh signing of the close-season.

Free agents Adrien Rabiot and Gianluigi Buffon are among the other players to have signed on since ex-Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri took charge in June.

Matthijs de Ligt arrived in Turin on Tuesday as the highly-coveted defender's move from Ajax to Juventus nears a conclusion.

The Serie A champions posted pictures and videos on social media of the 19-year-old Netherlands international landing ahead of a rumoured medical on Wednesday.

Barcelona, Manchester United, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain were all heavily linked with the centre-back, but the Ajax captain looks set to put the finishing touches on his switch to Juventus.

"Hello Bianconeri, this is Matthijs. I'm really happy to be here," De Ligt said in a video posted on Juve's Twitter account.

De Ligt will reportedly cost Juve €80million, with Ajax receiving another significant fee after Barcelona paid €75m to acquire midfielder Frenkie de Jong.

Ajax reached the Champions League semi-finals last season, when they were knocked out by Tottenham, and Juventus will hope De Ligt can help end their long wait to lift Europe's premier club trophy again.

The Bianconeri have also added free agent midfielders Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey to their squad, as well as bringing back iconic goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon for Maurizio Sarri's first season at the helm.

Matthijs de Ligt arrived in Turin on Tuesday as the highly-coveted defender's move from Ajax to Juventus nears a conclusion.

The Serie A champions posted pictures and videos on social media of the 19-year-old Netherlands international landing ahead of a rumoured medical on Wednesday.

Barcelona, Manchester United, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain were all heavily linked with the centre-back, but the Ajax captain looks set to put the finishing touches on his switch to Juventus.

"Hello Bianconeri, this is Matthijs. I'm really happy to be here," De Ligt said in a video posted on Juve's Twitter account.

Juventus will be known as Piemonte Calcio on FIFA 20 due to the Italian's club's new exclusive partnership with Pro Evolution Soccer (PES), EA Sports has confirmed.

The Old Lady jersey was used on the front cover of FIFA 19 with Cristiano Ronaldo, but Konami now have use of official trademarks and intellectual property for the new PES game.

Instead, a club called Piemonte Calcio shall be created in their place on FIFA, using a custom badge and kits across all game modes.

The fictious club will, however, still include Juve's real-world players in FIFA 20 and FIFA Ultimate Team

EA Sports' loss is a result of PES' gain, with the game striking an exclusive "long-term" deal with Juve that will see the club's players recreated via a "full-body 3D scan in order to recreate their likeness in the game as accurately as possible".

eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020, the next edition's official title, will also boast a link-up with Barcelona, whose players have featured on the covers of the past three PES titles, albeit the deal with the Blaugrana is not exclusive.

Among the other PES "partnered clubs" that will be fully licensed - though not exclusive - in the game are: Manchester United, Arsenal, River Plate, Palmeiras, Boca Juniors, Bayern Munich, Flamengo, Sao Paulo, Corinthians, Vasco Da Gama and Colo Colo.

It is not all bad news for EA Sports, however.

Champions League winners Liverpool have struck a "long-term" deal of their own with the FIFA developers, who will become the Reds' "official football simulation game partner".

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says Robert Lewandowski could extend his contract with Bayern Munich and has ruled out a deal to bring back Mario Mandzukic.

Poland striker Lewandowski appeared to be agitating for a move away from the Allianz Arena 12 months ago but was unable to secure an exit.

He went on to score 40 goals last season as Bayern won the domestic double and admitted in March he could see out his career at Bayern after becoming much more settled.

Chairman Rummenigge now hopes Lewandowski will agree to a new contract as he believes the 30-year-old could play for several more years. Lewandowski's current deal covers the next two seasons.

"It's not all wrapped up, but there's already the development with Robert that he feels extremely comfortable with Bayern Munich," Rummenigge said to Bild.

"When you look at his body, this is a player who can easily play at this level for a few more years."

Rummenigge also dismissed talk that former Bayern striker Mandzukic could be brought back to the club from Juventus as support for Lewandowski, saying: "Nothing is planned in that direction."

However, Rummenigge did confirm Bayern remain eager to sign another winger to help fill the void left by Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, who left at the end of last season.

"We still need a winger because we lost two with Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben," said Rummenigge, with Bayern still thought to be interested in Leroy Sane and Ousmane Dembele. "But I don't want to promise anything because there is no point in making big promises."

Rummenigge added he is confident head coach Niko Kovac can make further strides with the club in 2019-20 thanks in part to their impressive strength in depth in defence.

"When I look at our defence, with [David] Alaba, [Lucas] Hernandez, [Niklas] Sule, [Joshua] Kimmich, [Benjamin] Pavard and Jerome [Boateng], where we have to wait and see what's going on with him, I have to say I don't see many better in Europe," he said.

"Also, what we have to offer up front... it's all good. We have a good team and a good squad; the transfer market is not over yet. When the Bundesliga starts, I'm convinced our team will be very focused and motivated to get to work.

"Niko knows we are a club that needs success. We're interested in continuity, in the coaching position as well. I wish him as successful a second season as he had last year, with the double, and perhaps one more round in the Champions League. Everyone would then be very happy with Bayern."

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