FC Barcelona are poised to re-open talks with Ajax for one last time as they continue their chase for Matthijs de Ligt.
According to ESPN, Barcelona will re-open talks with Ajax Amsterdam in regards to the potential signing of in-demand defender Matthijs de Ligt. The Dutchman has been one of the most wanted players in the ongoing summer transfer window, having been linked with moves to Manchester United, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, PSG among many others.
Barcelona were believed to be favourites to secure the services of de Ligt earlier this summer. But, more lucrative bids from other clubs including Manchester United and PSG, saw the Catalans fall down the pecking order among the defender’s most likely suitor this summer. But, it seems like the Spanish champions are ready to make one last push for the Ajax whizkid as they aim to bolster their defensive department.
Indeed, the Blaugrana haven’t fared well defensively under Ernesto Valverde despite enjoying an excellent domestic league campaign. And it was rather evident in their second leg performances against Liverpool in the semi-final of the UEFA Champions League.
They failed to sustain a three-goal lead in the first-leg, slumping to a catastrophic 4-0 defeat – a performance that ushered in a wave of criticism among fans and experts alike. As a result, Barcelona are now adamant in finding defensive solutions in the market this summer. And de Ligt, in that regard, could be the ideal target.
The Ajax starlet is already regarded as one of Europe’s best defenders, having enjoyed yet another remarkable season with the Dutch champions. However, what has made de Ligt such a sought-after defender this summer is the fact that his consistency has not only been prevalent in the Eredivisie as the 19-year-old has also impressed in the UEFA Champions League as well as in the Dutch national team.
From a tactical perspective, de Ligt to Barcelona would make sense as the youngster is proficient in rotating possession and bringing others into play with his impressive passing range. He is also adept in passing in between the lines and find midfielders and forwards with his laser passes – making him an ideal long-term replacement for someone like Gerard Pique.
The Barcelona defender is already reaching the final phase of his career, and his steady deterioration has been evident in recent years. Hence, the Catalans will soon need to find a proper replacement for the Spaniard and no one fits the bill better than de Ligt.
Therefore, Barcelona should definitely break the bank for de Ligt this summer if they are to fix their defensive woes. The youngster has already shown that he is capable of performing at the highest level of football. And at the age of 19, he would be a smart long-term investment for the Spanish champions.