Super-agent Mino Raiola says it was “important” for his client Matthijs de Ligt to play in Italy, as the Dutch defender closes in on his much-vaunted switch to Juventus .
The future of De Ligt has been one of the transfer stories of the summer as Manchester United , Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain were all linked with a move for the Ajax captain.
All three clubs appeared to be leading the race for the 19-year-old at various stages, but in the end De Ligt opted to move to Juventus in a deal expected to be worth around £67.5million.
And Raiola says that the challenge for a centre-back of playing in Serie A was one of the reasons behind the move.
“It’s not a question of who wanted him most, but Juve are the best team for him,” Raiola told reporters outside the J Medical Centre in Turin, as De Ligt underwent his medical tests ahead of the move.
“It’s important for a defender to come to Italy. He can learn to become the best in the world here.
“This step is necessary for his career. Certainly, he’s the best young defender. After that, he only needs a bit of time to show that he’s the best on a different level.
“In terms of work and mentality, he approaches and, indeed even surpasses, Nedved. He reminds me of Ibra for his ambition.
“It’s always good to play alongside great champions like Bonucci. As for whether Ronaldo told him to join Juve, you have to ask him. I don’t know.
“The decision to join Juve was a considered one. It wasn’t made in just a day. It was a long process.”
De Ligt is expected to tie up his deal on Wednesday.