Matthijs de Ligt 'an important building block' for Bayern Munich, says president

Dutch defender joins German champions on a five-year contract after Bayern agree €77 million fee with Juventus

Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt was a top target for Bayern Munich in this transfer window. AFP
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Bayern Munich president Herbert Hainer believes new signing Matthijs de Ligt will become a "mainstay" at the German champions and that the Dutch defender can help the club continue to win trophies.

On Tuesday, Bayern announced the signing of De Ligt, 22, on a five-year contract after agreeing a transfer fee with Juventus that could eventually be worth €77 million ($78m).

"Matthijs de Ligt was a top target for us. With signings like this, the big aims that we have are achievable. The future face of our team is increasingly taking shape," Hainer said.

It represents a signature signing for the perennial Bundesliga winners after prolific striker Robert Lewandowski ended his long association with the Bavarians to join Barcelona for a fee of up to €50m.

It constitutes the second biggest transfer deal in Bayern's history after the €80m required to capture another defender, Lucas Hernandez, in 2019.

"This transfer is an important building block in the overall concept that we're gradually putting into place. De Ligt should become a mainstay at FC Bayern" added Hainer.

His arrival follows that of Sadio Mane from Liverpool, and Ajax duo Ryan Gravenberch and Noussair Mazraoui at a combined cost estimated to be worth more than €120m.

De Ligt joined the Ajax academy age 9, making his debut for the Amsterdam club at 17. He became their youngest captain and in 2019 moved to Italian champions Juventus for €85m after winning the league-and-cup double with Ajax.

His time with Juve earned him more silverware, with a Serie A title, an Italian cup and Super Cup, although the club finished without a trophy in 2021/22.

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On the international stage he was the Netherlands' youngest debutant since 1945, and has gone on to earn 38 caps for his national side, scoring twice.

He said he had been won over by Bayern's sales pitch.

"I felt the genuine appreciation from the sporting management, the coach and the board right from the start, which convinced me," he said in a statement issued by Bayern.

"On top of that, FC Bayern is a brilliantly run club with big aims. I'm very glad that I'm now becoming part of the FC Bayern story."

Bayern chief executive Oliver Kahn suggested that as good a player as De Ligt is, his character could also prove to be enormously beneficial to Bayern.

"Matthijs de Ligt has impressed at the highest international level, not just with his technical qualities but also as a character who leads in all his teams," said Kahn.

"At his young age he's already learned about taking responsibility. A strong team doesn't just require a strong attack, and with this signing we're really raising our defence to the top level."

Updated: July 20, 2022, 5:04 AM