Juventus new boy Matthijs de Ligt has laughed off claims that he chose to move to Turin for the money.
It had been claimed in some quarters that the defender, who moved to the Serie A champions from Ajax in a €75 million (£67m/$84m) deal this week, turned down a switch to Paris Saint-Germain because he wanted to earn more than Kylian Mbappe. The 19-year-old dismissed those rumours as ‘insane’.
The former Ajax stopper said he relied on controversial super-agent Mino Raiola to handle the business side of the game, while he made his decisions purely for footballing reasons.
“I tried to shut myself off [from speculation] as much as possible,” De Ligt told AD , “but you always get something with it.
“The most insane message I read was that I wouldn’t go to PSG because I wanted to earn more money than Mbappe. What nonsense.
“[Money] played no role for me. Everyone who knows me knows that too.
“Mino is my agent, he deals with the business side of things, but that came only after my my sporting choice was made. Money has never been leading.”
The Netherlands international had previously denied that Cristiano Ronaldo was an influence on his decision to move to Italy , instead saying that the Italian defensive tradition swayed him to choose Juve, amid interest from Barcelona and Manchester United as well as PSG.
He said that any pressure from his move to the Bianconeri would come from the club’s status and not from his fee, the third-highest ever paid for a teenager.
He said his experience at Ajax, the club he skippered to the Champions League semi-finals, eliminating Juventus along the way, would stand him in good stead for the challenges that await.
“Don’t worry, [pressure is] always there at clubs like this,” he continued.
“And a transfer fee is just a given. At such large clubs as Juventus those price tags do not play a role.
“Of course, it is nice to come in after the season with Ajax, including the match here in Turin.
“But that is in the past and will no longer count when I stand here on the field. Juventus has many good defenders, we will all have to work.”