Barcelona are reportedly closing in on sealing their second major transfer ahead of the next season, with Ajax sensation Matthijs de Ligt set to sign soon.
As per a report from Spanish publication MARCA, Barcelona are just one step away from clinching the signing of Ajax’s teenage wonderkid Matthijs de Ligt. The Catalans have already raided the Dutch giants for midfielder Frenkie de Jong and are now closing in on signing the Ajax captain.
De Ligt has established himself as one of the most sought-after players across Europe after what has been a sensational 2018-19 campaign. An academy product of Ajax, the centre-back burst onto the scenes back in the 2016-17 season as a 17-year-old and has never looked back since.
Winner of the 2018 Golden Boy award, De Ligt was appointed Ajax captain ahead of the 2018-19 term, during which he has racked up 54 appearances in all competitions, scoring 7 goals and setting up 4 more, championing his side to the top of the Eredivisie, a sensational semi-final run in the UEFA Champions League and the KNVB Cup triumph.
De Ligt has shone bright on the international stages as well, forging a solid partnership alongside Virgil van Dijk for the Netherlands national team. His growth in the past couple of years hasn’t gone unnoticed, with the who’s who of Europe keeping a watchful eye on him.
Barcelona, though, have expressed the strongest desire in signing up the 19-year-old, who they see as the long-term heir to defensive mainstay Gerard Pique. The Catalans’ president Josep Maria Bartomeu has claimed in the past that De Ligt is a target for the club and according to latest reports, it seems like the La Liga champions are set to see their wish granted.
Following their Champions League semi-final debacle against Liverpool last month, Barcelona have intensified their pursuit of De Ligt and are expected to get the deal over the line without any hiccups. The report adds that the Catalans have already agreed terms with the Ajax captain.
However, the three-month ban hit on De Ligt’s agent Mino Raiola by FIGC, which was made worldwide by FIFA, makes the matter a little more complicated for Barcelona. With the super-agent suspended from being involved in football-related activities for three months, it still remains to be seen who handles his clients during that period.
Barcelona, though, remain confident of tying up the deal to sign De Ligt before the transfer window is officially open for business. Given the quality he has shown at such a young age, the Dutchman will prove to be an excellent acquisition for the Catalans for years to come. It now seems only a matter of when and not if he joins Frenkie de Jong at Camp Nou ahead of next season.