Barcelona are reportedly set to prioritise a deal for Ajax prodigy Matthijs de Ligt, who could cost as much as €75 million in the summer transfer window.
According to a report by Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, Samuel Umtiti’s delicate injury situation could force Barcelona to enter the transfer market in the summer window. The Blaugrana are thus, set to give priority to a deal for Ajax whizkid Matthijs de Ligt.
Matthijs de Ligt is widely regarded as one of the best young prospects in the world, having broken into the Ajax first-team setup aged just 17. But, more impressive than that has been the fact that he has gone on to become club captain while still in his teens, while also becoming indispensable for the Dutch National Side.
Another impressive aspect of his progress has been the fact that he is set to cross 100 appearances for Ajax, at such a nascent age. But, his exploits for club and country has attracted the attention of some of the biggest clubs in the world as well, with Barcelona now considering a move for de Ligt.
The La Liga champions are well stocked in the central defensive department, with as many as six centre-backs in Ernesto Valverde’s squad. And, even though Thomas Vermaelen and Jeison Murillo will not be at Camp Nou next season, with the report suggesting that the former will be allowed to leave in the summer, there are four top-class defenders at the disposal of the Barcelona boss.
In fact, Jean-Clair Todibo, whose transfer was pushed forward last month, is seen as the long-term successor to Gerard Pique, while Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet are competing for the other half of Barcelona’s central defensive partnership.
But, the report claims that Umtiti is due for a knee surgery, which has been advised by the Barcelona doctors. If he opts for the impending surgery, the Frenchman will be sidelined for up to five months, which explains why Barcelona are still keeping an eye on de Ligt.
The report also suggests that de Ligt is keen on a move to Barcelona, which will allow him to keep on playing along with good friend and compatriot Frenkie de Jong, who will move to Camp Nou in the summer. And, a deal for the 19-year-old will cost around €75 million.
While it remains to be seen if the Blaugrana are open to shelling out the amount, the interest in him was recently confirmed by club president Josep Maria Bartomeu. For now, if the report is anything to go by, the move for Matthijs de Ligt hinges on Samuel Umtiti’s injury situation.