Ajax Captain Matthijs De Ligt Is 'The Best Defender Out There,' Says Fabio Capello
Fabio Capello has claimed that Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt is the best defender in the world ahead of the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Sergio Ramos.
The Dutch starlet, 19, has had a stellar season with his side and has been linked with Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester United and Liverpool.
But Capello, 73, believes that De Ligt's move to Juventus would effectively end any hope for a team to challenge for the Serie A title next season.
"If Juve sign De Ligt, then it's over. Again. And we go directly to the season after," the ex-Juventus and England boss told Corriere dello Sport.
"De Ligt is the best defender out there. He allows you to defend with two, freeing up the full-backs, like he has at Ajax.
"With him, Juve will have hit the jackpot. Without him, well, it could help the others get closer.
"Let me be clear. When I talk about others, I'm referring exclusively to Napoli and Inter [Milan].
"[AC] Milan, Roma and Lazio won't participate in the title race for obvious technical delays and financial problems."
De Ligt's future has been under intense speculation since the season came to an end.
And the Old Lady have now emerged as one of the favourites to land the Dutch centre-back, who was recently named the best under-20 player in the world in L'Équipe's rankings.
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Many fans believe that Cristiano Ronaldo might have had a hand in De Ligt's choice to snub a number of other clubs in favour of a move to Juventus.
And the Netherlands international admitted after the Nations League final that the Portuguese superstar, 34, wanted him to sign for the Old Lady.
When he was asked if he would be the ex-Real Madrid and United ace's teammate next season, he told NOS Sport: "That could be true, yes.
"I didn't understand him at first. I was a little shocked, so I laughed, but I didn't say anything.
"Shortly after the game, you are not at all concerned with it, you are disappointed you have lost and that is the only thing you are thinking about."
Juventus are reportedly looking to secure a deal for De Ligt in the region of £60m, but Ajax are holding out for a fee of £75m.
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Featured Image Credit: PA