Manchester City have reportedly been handed a major boost in pursuit of Matthijs de Ligt, with Barcelona dropping out of the race to sign him.

According to a report by Catalan outlet El Nacional, Barcelona have decided to call off their pursuit of Matthijs de Ligt due to the fee that Juventus will demand in exchange for his services. Such a development serves as a massive boost for Manchester City in the race to sign the 22-year-old.

Matthijs de Ligt joined Juventus from Ajax in the summer of 2019, arriving at the Allianz Stadium amid a lot of hype surrounding him after several memorable moments with the Dutch giants. However, the 22-year-old has not managed to become a mainstay for the Bianconeri just yet, sharing game-time with Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini.

To date, de Ligt has made 87 appearances for the Serie A giants, chipping in with six goals and two assists along the way. And as per claims by recent reports, which are corroborated by El Nacional, the Dutch international is keen on leaving Juventus to embark on a new challenge. Such a situation has piqued the interest of Manchester City.

Manchester City do not seem to have the need of signing a centre-back, with Ruben Dias completely transforming the defensive unit since his arrival from Benfica in the summer of 2020. The Portuguese international has made such an immediate impression that he has become one of the vice-captains for the Citizens.

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In addition, Pep Guardiola also has Aymeric Laporte, John Stones and Nathan Ake at his disposal, which is why it might not make sense for Manchester City to sign a centre-back. Nevertheless, it looks like de Ligt is a key target for the Premier League champions, who are keen on signing him.

Now, the Citizens have been handed a major boost in his pursuit, as Barcelona have called off their interest in the 22-year-old. While Barcelona have been heavily linked with de Ligt for quite some time, they will not be able to afford his price tag, which is forcing them to call of their interest.

The Blaugrana could well have been the favourites to sign de Ligt, considering Joan Laporta has a strong relationship with Mino Raiola. However, with Barcelona dropping out of the race to sign the 22-year-old Dutch defender, it will be interesting to see if Manchester City make their move and prise him away from Serie A giants Juventus.

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