Barcelona are reportedly planning an approach for Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt, with manager Ronald Koeman intent on signing the Dutchman.
According to a report from Italian outlet Calciomercato, La Liga giants Barcelona have rekindled their interest in Juventus centre-back Matthijs de Ligt ahead of the upcoming transfer window and are planning to make contact with the Serie A giants to explore the possibility of a move.
A product of the Ajax youth academy, de Ligt became a household name in his teens itself having broken into the first-team at a very young age before going onto become the captain. The Dutchman played a crucial role in De Godenzonen’s semi-final run in the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League, leading to interest from who’s who of Europe.
Indeed, Barcelona were also intent on signing de Ligt at the time but were beaten to the punch by Juventus. Having moved to Turin in 2019, the 22-year-old has slowly but surely established himself as a mainstay at the back, with his career continuing to grow on an upward trajectory despite Juventus’ disappointing season this time out.
Barcelona, seemingly, have continued to follow de Ligt closely and are now set to renew their interest in the 21-year-old in the summer. Manager Ronald Koeman is said to be the driving force behind the Catalans’ interest in the centre-back, having worked with him closely with the Netherlands national team.
Barcelona’s interest in de Ligt also makes a lot of sense considering that club icon Gerard Pique is in the twilight of his career. In addition to that, the Blaugrana are set to offload the injury-prone Samuel Umtiti at the end of the season, having already offered his services to Premier League giants Liverpool among other clubs.
Besides, Clement Lenglet has had an inconsistent 2020/21 campaign and there have been speculations surrounding his future as well. So, even though Barcelona will be signing Eric Garcia on a free transfer when his contract with Manchester City runs out at the end of the season, bringing in another central defender would hold them in good stead for the next season and beyond.
De Ligt, to that end, would be a wise choice for the La Liga heavyweights given his age, potential and the amount of top-level experience he has already gathered. And, in order to explore the possibility of a transfer, Barcelona president Joan Laporta is planning to make contact with Juventus in the coming weeks.
As per the report, de Ligt has a release clause worth €125 million which will come into effect in 2022 and could further rise to €150 million if he signs a new contract. The 21-year-old is said to be happy at the Allianz Stadium and wants to help the club back to its glory days after the disappointing campaign. So, all things considered, a move to Barcelona may not materialise this summer.