PSG out of De Ligt race, says Leonardo

Juventus is said to have agreed terms with Matthijs de Ligt, with Paris Saint-Germain pulling out of the race for the Ajax defender.

Published : Jul 09, 2019 10:03 IST

Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt looks set to become one of the game's top defenders.
Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt looks set to become one of the game's top defenders.

Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt looks set to become one of the game's top defenders.

Paris Saint-Germain was interested in signing Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax but will not be buying the defender, says sporting director Leonardo.

De Ligt's performances in leading Ajax to a domestic double last term, as well as the semifinals of the Champions League, have made him one of the world's most in-demand players. But Juventus seems set to win the race for his signature after De Ligt's agent Mino Raiola said personal terms have been agreed with the Serie A champion.

With negotiations over the transfer fee continuing between Ajax and Juve, De Ligt was present at the start of pre-season training with the Dutch giant on Monday. And Leonardo accepts De Ligt will not be joining PSG while indicating the Ligue 1 champion is operating to a restricted budget.

'Not a good time to make a big investment'

"De Ligt will not come to PSG," Leonardo said to Le Parisien . "There was a possibility. He is a great player but it was not a good time to make a big investment. We must calm down a little. We don't have an envelope with EUR 200 million to spend."

Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly has been touted as a De Ligt alternative for PSG but Leonardo indicated the Senegal international would also cost too much. "He is a very expensive player," Leonardo added. "There is no specific project for the moment. But I do not want to talk too much about individual cases."

Read | De Ligt has an agreement with Juventus, Raiola confirms

Leonardo said he made no offer to try and keep Adrien Rabiot at the club, with the midfielder joining Juve as a free agent. Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey moving to Turin has led to rumours former PSG player Blaise Matuidi may now be surplus to requirements. "I love Matuidi," said Leonardo. "I have a lot of respect and esteem for him. He has always been fundamental for PSG. But at PSG today, there are already players and we will continue to play 11 on the field."

PSG has signed Ander Herrera and Pablo Sarabia ahead of the new campaign, but veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon rejected a new contract to return to Juve.

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