Matthijs De Ligt JuventusGetty Images

'They could stay for five years, maybe ten' - De Ligt tipped for long Juventus stay

Matthijs de Ligt and his girlfriend AnneKee “have fallen in love with Turin and Italy” and would gladly stay at Juventus for “five or ten years”, according to AnneKee’s father Keye.

Much was expected of the young Netherlands defender when Juve beat the likes of Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain to his €75 million (£68m/$84m) signing from Ajax last summer.

However, things haven’t always gone to plan for the 20-year-old, who even found himself on the bench at times during a difficult debut campaign for the Bianconeri.

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De Ligt admits he has much to learn, but has repeatedly stressed that Turin is the right place for his long-term development.

However, like all footballers across the globe, his progress had been halted by the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to a near total shutdown of all sport.

Italy is the one of the countries worst affected by the outbreak, with footballers among those infected.

Juventus placed their whole squad in quarantine when defender Daniele Rugani contracted the virus earlier this month, with Blaise Matuidi and Paulo Dybala later testing positive.

That has understandably caused concern amongst the rest of the squad, who have all been tested for the virus, with De Ligt testing negative.

AnneKee’s father Keye Molenaar has praised Juventus for its handling of what has been a very difficult situation.

“Matthijs tested negative, so consequently AnneKee has not needed any test,” Molenaar told Tuttosport.

“I have to say that Juventus over these difficult days have shown themselves to be far more than a top club. It was a real family for the kids.

“There was a little anxiety at first, especially as my daughter has become very close with Michela, Rugani’s girlfriend, who is also positive for Coronavirus.”

Reflecting on their high-profile move to Serie A,  Molenaar says that De Ligt and AnnKee have settled quickly to life in Turin and have no plans to move away any time soon.

“Aside from this being a tricky time, AnneKee and Matthijs are really in love with Turin and Italy," he added. "This is their first real home together and they’re not missing Amsterdam.

“They are so in love with Turin that they could stay for five years, maybe ten.”