Josep Maria Bartomeu has hinted Barcelona are on the verge of securing a permanent deal for Matthijs de Ligt, who could cost around €75 million.

In an interview with ESPN, Josep Maria Bartomeu has hinted that Barcelona are lining up a deal for Ajax’s defensive ace Matthijs de Ligt. The Dutch prodigy is valued at around €75 million by Ajax.

“There will be time to speak about him. Each year the club has an interest in making signings and this summer will be the same. De Ligt, like the other best players, is on the table. He is a great player and a great centre-back. I know what will happen with him but it’s not the moment [to talk].”

This could be a huge move for Barcelona, who are planning to refresh their defensive unit next season. In fact, the Blaugrana are reportedly willing to offload star defender Samuel Umtiti in the summer and de Ligt, to that end, could turn out to be an excellent long-term replacement for the Frenchman.

Inching closer to Barcelona? (Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Inching closer to Barcelona? (Photo by Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

The Ajax sensation is already regarded as one of Europe’s top centre-backs, having enjoyed immense success in the past couple of years.

His ability to play out from the back will certainly help Barcelona in their build-up play while his tendency to switch the play with long cross-field passes or diagonal balls tune in well with their positional game under the tutelage of Ernesto Valverde. He would also be reunited with his teammate Frenkie de Jong, who joined Barcelona earlier this year.

In due course, de Ligt could ideally be the candidate to succeed Gerard Pique, who, despite being in stunning form this season is nearing the end of his glittering career. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that Barcelona have reportedly stepped up their pursuit of the 19-year-old in recent weeks.

The latest boost for the La Liga champions comes in the form of Bartomeu’s comments, which suggest that a move for de Ligt is in the works. It now remains to be seen if Barcelona indeed end up securing the services of the Ajax captain, who could cost around €75 million, in the summer transfer window.

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