Barcelona have reportedly seen a £66 million bid for Matthijs de Ligt being knocked back by Juventus, who are determined to keep hold of the young defender.

According to a report by Daily Mail, Barcelona had lodged a bid worth £66 million bid to sign Matthijs de Ligt in the summer transfer window. However, the La Liga champions’ offer has been swiftly rejected by Juventus, who are not interested in selling the Dutch international.

Matthijs de Ligt burst onto the spotlight after making his first-team debut at Ajax at the age of 17. He quickly made an impression in the senior side; so much so, that he was made the club captain at the Dutch club while still in his teens.

It was under his leadership that Ajax stunned the footballing world, beating Real Madrid and Juventus en route to the Champions League semi-finals last term. His tremendous progress was not lost on the who’s who of European football, with Barcelona among a whole host of clubs that showed an interest in him last summer.

In the end, though, he chose to join Juventus in a deal believed to be worth around £66 million. At the Allianz Stadium, de Ligt has not set the stage alight, but has still slowly grown in stature, becoming a mainstay at the back for the Bianconeri, making 27 appearances in all competitions for the Italian champions. However, Barcelona still seem to be interested in the Dutch international.

Happy at Juventus? (Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)

Happy at Juventus? (Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)

The interest from Barcelona makes a great deal of sense considering the continued fitness struggles of Samuel Umtiti. While there is no denying the fact that Umtiti is a top class centre-back, the fact that he is on the sidelines for stretched periods has led to rumours over his future while also forcing Barcelona into the market for a centre-back.

Apart from Umtiti, Barcelona also need to lay down the succession plan for Gerard Pique, who is well into his thirties. As a result, Barcelona have been linked with a number of centre-backs of late, including Leicester City star Caglar Soyuncu.

However, with Liverpool being tipped to sign the Turkish international, Barcelona need to keep their options open. As a result, they have reignited their interest in de Ligt, even lodging a £66 million bid for the 20-year-old, as per Daily Mail. Barcelona, though, might be facing a losing battle, as far as their pursuit of de Ligt is concerned.

Juventus are in no mood to part ways with the Dutch defender, who they view as a long-term solution at the heart of the defence, along with Merih Demiral. Indeed, the Bianconeri believe that de Ligt and Demiral could be the successors to veteran duo Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini, which is why a sale this summer appears to be unlikely.

On top of that, de Ligt is seemingly settled in Turin, meaning a move might never see the light of the day. Having said that, it remains to be seen if Barcelona come up with a better offer than their £66 million bid, or if they set their sights elsewhere.

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