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SOCCER

Juventus defender De Ligt 'ready for a new step', says Raiola

Agent Mino Raiola has been discussing one of his star clients, this time weighing in on Matthijs de Ligt's future with Juventus.

Update:
Juventus defender De Ligt 'ready for a new step', says Raiola
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Matthijs de Ligt believes he is ready for a new challenge, according to the Juventus centre-back's agent Mino Raiola.

Former Ajax captain De Ligt left his boyhood club for pastures new in Turin in 2019, but initially underwhelmed following his €75million transfer.

However, the Netherlands international has been reinvigorated under new Bianconeri head coach Massimiliano Allegri, starting 13 of the 14 games he has featured in for his 1,203 Serie A minutes in 2021-22.

Learning from the best

Alongside learning from veteran duo Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci, De Ligt is turning into the dominant figure that he was expected to become – last committing an error leading to a chance in the league in his debut 2019-20 campaign.

Additionally, no Juve defender is competing for more aerial duels per 90 minutes than De Ligt (4.71), who also leads club charts among his fellow rearguard stars as he wins 2.99 of those contests per match.

The 22-year-old is seemingly becoming a force to be reckoned with at the back, but De Ligt is said to remain open to all options as he looks to further fulfil his potential.

Agent Raiola, who also boasts Paul Pogba, Erling Haaland and Gianluigi Donnarumma among his client list, revealed De Ligt's stance in an interview released on Sunday.

"[De Ligt] is ready for a new step ... he thinks that too," Raiola said, quoted by Dutch outlet NRC.

De Ligt linked with Barcelona

Raiola's comment comes just a day after Juventus chief executive Maurizio Arrivabene told Bianconeri supporters "they can forget" about the prospect of big-money signings during the January transfer window, insisting the club must focus on stability.

Juve announced an increase in capital earlier this week, with 91.75 per cent of the overall shares subscribed for approximately €366.9million.

De Ligt has previously been linked with the likes of Barcelona, where his former Ajax colleague and international compatriot Frenkie de Jong plays.

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