While the return of Massimiliano Allegri had been widely hailed, the hugely successful 54-year-old coach is hardly enjoying a positive start to his second spell in charge. Juventus appear to be realty struggling to find any rhythm to their game, while the loss of Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United is also being felt, with the team appearing to lack the cutting edge they need in attack.
After four matches, Juventus are in the relegation zone and still yet to win a Serie A match this season ? pic.twitter.com/N527xqEAfx
— Goal (@goal) September 19, 2021
After just four games into the 2021-22 season in Serie A, two defeats and two draws have left Juventus in the relegation zone, much to the frustration of supporters. The players will undoubtedly be feeling the pressure and after such a poor start to the campaign, some could even be considering their own futures at the club. This could lead to further high-profile departures unless Allegri is able to turn things around in short order.
Now there are doubts about the long-term future of Matthijs de Ligt, after Italian super-agent Mino Raiola suggested his client could seek a move elsewhere, during a recent interview at TuttoSport. “Matthijs de Light is one of the best centre-backs in Europe. He could leave Juventus at the end of the season. Transfer market sometimes work this way,” explained Raiola, conscious there would be no shortage of interest if his client became available.
De Ligt in the shop window?
Following those ominous words from Raiola, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano added to the debate, revealing that De Ligt has an additional reason to consider his options, pointing towards a release clause in the players’ contract. Romano revealed that within the five-year deal originally signed by De Ligt, there is a release clause option that will be triggered at the end of the current season, valuing the player at €150 million.
Matthijs de Ligt has a release clause into his contract with Juventus and this is why Raiola spoke about his future. It will be valid starting from summer 2022 for €150m – Juve are still hoping to keep him. ?? #Juve
All details on the release clause: https://t.co/5A0CUWeAoQ pic.twitter.com/ScKoI5G46H
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) September 20, 2021
Dutch defender De Ligt originally joined Juventus in July 2019 from Dutch side Ajax, who received a hefty transfer fee of €75 million to be paid in five instalments, along with further additions potentially worth around €10.5 million. Now the 22-year-old is in his third season with the club, it’s hardly surprising that Raiola has begun stirring the pot, so to speak. Nevertheless, the €150 million release valuation is a huge sum of money for any club.
When they paid Leicester City €87 million for Harry Maguire in 2019, Manchester United broke the transfer record for a defender, which had previously been set when Virgil van Dijk joined Liverpool from Southampton for €84.5 million in January 2018. After that, the biggest fees paid for central defenders include Lucas Hernandez, who switched from Atletico Madrid to Bayern Munich for €80 million, followed by De Ligt from Ajax to Juventus as the fourth-highest.
Dutchman is needed if Allegri is rebuilding
While there have been several blockbuster transfers in the summer 2021 window, the general outlook is one of austerity amongst many of the leading European clubs. For this reason alone, it’s difficult to see any side being prepared to splash out more than €100 million for De Ligt, regardless of this recently revealed release clause in his Juventus contract. That being said, such clauses are often regarded as an opening point for talks, rather than a fixed price.
Big match ahead! ?? #ForzaJuve pic.twitter.com/OOXCeYiNM4
— Matthijs de Ligt (@mdeligt_04) September 16, 2021
Despite what was undoubtedly a poor 2020-21 campaign, when Allegri arrived there was plenty of optimism ahead of the 2021-22 season, with confidence that Juventus would immediately bounce back to their former glories. The Turin outfit remain amongst the Serie A outright favourites at many of the best football betting sites, although there’s much more to be aware of whenever backing any team. This includes checking reviews for the best bonuses and promotion offers.
Safety and security are just as important for punters, along with the reputation and history of the betting site they are going to choose, plus a wide selection of competitive odds and plenty of football betting markets to choose from. Insofar as Juventus rebounding from their frustrating start to the campaign is concerned, De Ligt will be a key component of those plans, while at his youthful age he could be an important asset for years to come.
Regardless of these latest speculative utterings from Raiola, it’s difficult to see Juventus being a willing party to the idea of De Ligt moving elsewhere.