Walking away from the move was disappointing for Tottenham fans, but they were always going to struggle to lure the Dutchman.
Here is a look at three reasons why Spurs deal for De Ligt fell through, which cumulatively stacked up to show Tottenham's pursuit was always doomed to failure.
Wouldn't force a move
Spurs managed to lure Davinson Sanchez to the club last season, against his club's wishes.
Ajax tried to convince him to stay but Sanchez went on strike and forced a move through.
Having only been at Ajax for one year, Sanchez had no loyalty to the club and had no qualms about walking out on them.
De Ligt is different. He has been part of Ajax's academy from an early age, and has worked with various coaches at the club along the way, building friendships and relationships.
He was never going to bite the hand which fed him and insult them by forcing a move, when Ajax are responsible for making him the player he is, especially when he is still just 18.
Ajax are fed up of Tottenham
Tottenham's raid on Ajax frustrated fans last summer and it is not the first time the North London side have ripped their best player away from them.
In recent years Spurs have landed Jan Vertonghen and Christian Eriksen, two truly elite players and Sanchez looks like being a third.
Ajax are proud of their youth development and do not want to become anybody's feeder club.
This pressure would have helped make Marc Overmars particularly keen not to do business with Spurs for a second year running.
Escalating interest from big guns
Not many players establish themselves as regulars at international level at just 18-years-old, and the ones which do are invariably special.
De Ligt is one of those, already starring alongside Virgil van Dijk for Holland.
This has helped spark serious interest from rivals clubs, with Barcelona, Manchester City and Juventus all keen.
When these sort of teams show their hand, Tottenham's chances become a lot tougher, with an already resistant Ajax able to command a bidding war which Spurs do not wish to be a part of.