Matthijs de Ligt is, as many see it at least, the game’s top defensive prospect, with the 19-year-old Ajax captain earning rave reviews for his play this season and projected to become one of the best centre halves in world football.
And yet, despite a belief that Ajax would not be averse to selling him for a fee topping £50M, so far only two clubs are said to have reached out about the possibility of signing him this summer: Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.
According to reports in the Netherlands, as passed along in England by The Mirror, the reason for that boils down to De Ligt’s decision to go with Mino Raiola as his agent, a man with a reputation for being difficult to work with.
He’s best known, perhaps, as the agent for Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic—as well as for former Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli—and for his feud with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola over the potential transfer of Pogba to City.
Meanwhile, that he spent much of last shopping Pogba around Europe against Manchester United’s wishes is said to have incensed the midfielder’s current club, and there was a previous falling out with Arsenal over Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Add it all up and you get the reason for a lack of interest in England for signing De Lig. At least as it’s being seen in the Netherlands and re-told in England by The Mirror. De Ligt, though, is too talented to stay at Ajax very much longer.
Whether it’s Juventus or PSG or Barcelona—who have been regularly linked regardless if they’ve reached out yet—or if the English clubs get over their supposed aversion, someone will pay a lot of money for De Ligt, no matter his agent.