Matthijs de Ligt played against Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League last season

Rome (AFP) - Dutch central defender Matthijs de Ligt signed Thursday for Juventus from Ajax for 75 million euros ($84.2 million), the Italian champions said.

The fee for De Ligt, 19, makes him Juventus’ third most expensive signing in their history after the 105 million euros they paid for Cristiano Ronaldo and the 90-million-euro transfer of Gonzalo Higuain.

De Ligt had been linked with many of Europe’s leading clubs after his impressive performances that helped a young Ajax side reach the Champions League semi-finals last season.

He played 117 games for Ajax in all competitions, scoring 13 goals and he scored the winner in Turin as Ajax eliminated Juventus in the quarter-finals.

De Ligt has played 17 times for the Netherlands.