Bayern Munich sign star defender from Juventus

Bayern Munich have signed Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus on a five-year contract on Tuesday for 67 million euros ($68.6 million).

De Ligt, 22, is Bayern Munich’s first significant purchase since agreeing to sell star striker Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona last week, and Juventus stated the sum for the Dutchman might rise by 10 million euros ($10.2 million) in conditional payments.

De Ligt joins the club following three years and 117 appearances for Juventus, where he won the Italian league and cup once each. He has made 38 appearances for the Netherlands.

“We wanted to bring Matthijs to Munich three years ago; we were already convinced by his qualities as a defender back then, and today we’re even more so,” Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić said.

“With his professionalism, his hunger and his wonderful character, Matthijs fits in with our team and our ambitions. He’ll take on an important role at FC Bayern on and off the pitch.”

De Ligt began his career at Ajax and is the third former player from the Dutch club to join Bayern this offseason.

Following the signing of midfielder Ryan Gravenberch from Ajax last month for 18.5 million euros ($18.8 million) with a potential 5.5 million euros ($5.57 million) in additional payments, as well as the free transfer of right-back Noussair Mazraoui.

Bayern is constructing its defence for the long term, with De Ligt joining 23-year-old Dayot Upamecano and 26-year-old Lucas Hernández. Niklas Süle, a German defender, departed Bayern Munich for Borussia Dortmund at the end of last season when his five-year contract ended.

With Bayern still looking for a specialist center-forward to replace Lewandowski, who has led the Bundesliga in scoring in each of the previous five seasons, coach Julian Nagelsmann may employ a more fluid style up front next season.

The club’s most well-known attackers, such as Sadio Mané, Leroy Sané, Kingsley Coman, and Serge Gnabry, are generally wide players who can also play centrally.

Bayern’s customary backup for Lewandowski was Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who seldom featured, while 21-year-old Joshua Zirkzee spent last season on loan in Belgium.

They also confirmed on Saturday that Gnabry has signed a new contract extension through 2026.

Bayern begins its preseason on Wednesday in Washington, D.C., before travelling to Green Bay to face Manchester City three days later.

The first competitive game of the season is against Leipzig for the German Super Cup on July 30.