De Ligt out of Ajax tour squad as Juventus move edges closer

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The defender appears to be on the verge of completing a switch to the Serie A champions and will not head to Austria with the rest of his team-mates

Matthijs de Ligt has been left out of Ajax's squad for their pre-season tour of Austria as a move to Juventus appears to have moved a step closer.

As reported by Goal, De Ligt has an agreement to join the Serie A club although Juve had been €10 million (£9m/$11m) short of Ajax's asking price for their captain.

Maurizio Sarri's side had offered a deal worth €65m (£58m/$73m) for De Ligt, €55m (£49m/$62m) up front with €10m in bonuses, although the Dutchman's omission from the tour squad would suggest talks have advanced further.

De Ligt's future has been the subject of much speculation over the summer, with a number of Europe's top clubs having been interested in signing him at one stage or another.

The likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City and Barcelona had been keen on landing him, although it would seem that it's Juve that have won the race for the Netherlands international.

And the move appears to be close to completion after the Eredivisie side confirmed that De Ligt is not part of their 28-man squad travelling to Bramberg in Austria.

A short note from the club on the defender's absence read: "Awaiting a possible transfer, Matthijs de Ligt does not travel with the group."

During their pre-season training camp, Ajax will play two practice matches against Istanbul Basaksehir on July 14 and Premier League side Watford on July 18.

De Ligt will not play a part in those games, however, with his final appearance for the club having seen him feature for the full 90 minutes in the 4-1 win over De Graafschap that sealed the Eredivisie title on May 15.

Juve, meanwhile, will be aiming to make a bigger impact in the latter stages of the Champions League having won their eighth Serie A title in a row last season.

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Sarri's side have already made six summer signings with Adrien Rabiot, Aaron Ramsey, Gianluigi Buffon, Luca Pellegrini and Merih Demiral all arriving, while Cristian Romero was purchased from Genoa before being loaned back.

Ajax have already taken steps to replace De Ligt by bringing in Heerenveen defender Kik Pierie and Lisandro Martinez, while Razvan Marin and Quincy Promes have also arrived in the summer.

And De Ligt's exit will be the second major departure from the club, with Frenkie de Jong having already joined Barca in a €75m (£67m/$84m) deal.

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