Barcelona are reportedly weighing up a move for Dutch prodigy Matthijs de Ligt, who has been slapped with a €60 million price tag by Ajax.
According to a report by Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona are lining up a bid to sign Matthijs de Ligt in the summer transfer window. The Blaugrana are hoping to make the teenage wonderkid their second summer signing from Ajax, having already reached an agreement over the transfer of Frenkie de Jong.
Matthijs de Ligt is part of the latest batch of senior footballers in Netherlands, who are scripting a resurgent tale for the national side. The 19-year-old, however, is perhaps the most impressive of the bunch, having become an indispensable figure for both club and country, in addition to also being tasked with the responsibility of being the Ajax captain.
His advent in the last couple of years has invariably brought forth a lot of attention towards him, with his reputation constantly burgeoning. Barcelona though, have been touted to be the favourites in pursuit of de Ligt.
Ernesto Valverde does have four centre-backs at his disposal. But, a closer look suggests that he could do with reinforcements at the heart of the Barcelona defence. While Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet are top class central defenders, both players prefer being the left side centre-back.
Thomas Vermaelen is only a backup option while Jeison Murillo’s loan deal is unlikely to end up with a permanent transfer. Meanwhile, Chumi has been disappointing whenever handed rare opportunities this season, and Gerard Pique has frustrated with his inconsistencies this season, showing signs that age is starting to catch up to him.
Therefore, de Ligt could be a viable target, who also prefers a move to Barcelona. But, there are few obstacles in pursuit of the La Liga champions if they are to secure the services of the Dutch defender.
To begin with, there are other positions that have a more urgent need for reinforcements, namely the striker and left-back slots. Secondly, de Ligt’s agent Mino Raiola is angling for the player to join another club before he makes his way to Barcelona, which will the biggest hurdle in their bid to land the 19-year-old.
Finally, the fact that Jean-Clair Todibo has been ideally signed as a long-term replacement for Pique means that the pursuit of de Ligt does not make a great deal of sense. But, it looks like the Blaugrana are seriously considering a move for the teenage prodigy, who is valued at €60 million.
It now remains to be seen if Matthijs de Ligt becomes the second Ajax player to make his way to Barcelona in the summer transfer window alongside Frenkie de Jong, or if the Catalans are content with the options they will have at their disposal next season.