Real Madrid have reportedly entered the race for Matthijs de Ligt, with the Ajax teenager already on the radar of Barcelona and Manchester United.
Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo have claimed of Real Madrid’s re-entry in the race for Matthijs de Ligt. The Ajax captain is currently being linked with Barcelona and Manchester United, who were the two frontrunners in his pursuit. But, Los Blancos seem ready to try one last time before de Ligt makes up his mind.
The report states that Real Madrid have decided to reignite their interest in de Ligt after reports emerged of Sergio Ramos looking to exit the Spanish capital in the summer. The Spanish giants will be looking to replace their mercurial captain with another leader figure at the back in the form of de Ligt.
While this might be a cliched statement, Matthijs de Ligt, at the mere age of 18, is already a man in the footballing forward. The youngster not only exhibits remarkable presence at the back, but his ability to rally the troops makes him a leader among players.
de Ligt was handed the captain’s armband by Ajax and the Dutch international has led the iconic club to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League, before falling short to Tottenham over closely contested two legs.
de Ligt’s performances have drawn interest from every top European club for more than a year now. But, with the Dutchman signalling his intent to perhaps, explore his options, the likes of Barcelona, Manchester United and more have been chasing his signature recently, with Real Madrid the latest to join in.
Barcelona have already sealed a deal to sign de Ligt’s club and international teammate Frenkie De Jong in the summer. But, the Catalans have also been reported to be in talks to add the defender to their roster as well, with several reports tipping the La Liga champions to beat others to de Ligt’s signature.
But, of late, Manchester United have taken a lead, with de Ligt’s agent Mino Raiola looking to get the best deal possible for his client and himself. The Red Devils’ 2018-19 defensive roster produced the worst defensive record in club history in the Premier League era, with United conceding as many as 54 goals in the entire campaign.
While Victor Lindelof has been able to establish himself at the back, there is a clear lack of quality options apart from the Swedish international. Also, pundits have all talked about a lack of leadership within the team, something de Ligt’s arrival could address and perhaps, solve.
Real Madrid’s entry though, if true, will complicate things. Los Blancos will likely be able to provide the contract Raiola wants for de Ligt, with Barcelona hesitant to break their bank to offer a lucrative contract. And the prospect of not only being part of the next great Real Madrid side but to lead them into a new era will tempt de Ligt.
The rumour could be true, especially if Real Madrid are entertaining the idea of Sergio Ramos leaving the club in the summer.
Matthijs de Ligt: “No [Barcelona are not his dream club]. I don’t have a dream club apart from Ajax. The only dream I had was to play for Ajax. I know there is a lot of interest but I don’t rule out staying.” #mulive [nos]
— utdreport (@utdreport) May 27, 2019
The report states that his priority has always been Barcelona. But, in a recent interview, he clearly stated that his dream was to become an Ajax player and with the dream fulfilled already, he is not stuck up on one club and is instead looking into all possibilities in the summer, including staying put.
Whatever de Ligt decides, one thing is for sure. The Dutch international is a revered figure at Ajax and is set to be one of the most wanted players of the 2019 summer transfer window, with Barcelona, Manchester United, Real Madrid and more vying for his signature.