Juventus target Matthijs De Ligt has revealed that his first football shirt was Cristiano Ronaldo’s number seven from his time at Manchester United.

The 19-year-old is touted to be Juve’s first big signing of the summer with a suggestion that having CR7 in Turin may have helped sway his decision.

Dutch paper Vi.nl cite a recent interview with the Ajax defender when he recounted meeting with childhood friends and reminiscing on playing football as children.

“It all went quickly, I realize that sometimes,” De Ligt concluded a month ago. “During the season, at the club and during competitions, you don’t really have the time to review everything as a player. But sometimes there are times when I realize that it is not normal.

“Like recently, when I had dinner with my football friends from the past. Adidas had organized that. There were also childhood friends and we recalled that. We came to the conclusion that I always wanted to be Cristiano Ronaldo when we were playing football in the garden.

“That was especially in his time when he played at Manchester United. My first football shirt also belonged to him from that time. That dinner was just after the meetings with Juventus, in which I had to fight duels with the same Ronaldo. Something like that remains special.”

The paper goes on to suggest that “the preference of the defender lies with Juventus, where playing football and training with Cristiano Ronaldo plays an important role.”