Barcelona reportedly continue to hold an interest in Matthijs de Ligt, although Juventus have no intentions of selling their Dutch defensive star.
According to a report from Italian publication Calciomercato, Barcelona retain a strong interest in Juventus and Netherlands defender Matthijs de Ligt, even though signing him next summer will be difficult.
De Ligt burst onto the scenes at boyhood club Ajax a few years ago. Captaining the team in his teens, he led the Dutch giants to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League in 2018/19, following which the who’s who of European football were queuing up to sign him.
Barcelona were also among the clubs who made a concerted push to try and sign de Ligt from Ajax but were beaten to the punch by Juventus. Since arriving in Turin, the 22-year-old tasted success initially but has had to share game-time with the veteran centre-back duo of Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini.
The team, as a whole, has been struggling since last season, which has led to speculations surrounding de Ligt’s future. Indeed, it has been claimed that the Dutchman was unhappy with the situation at the Allianz Stadium and was looking for a way out, leading to his agent, Mino Raiola, offering him to clubs in Europe, including Barcelona and Chelsea.
As per the report, Barcelona continue to hold a strong interest in the ex-Ajax captain two years after missing out on his signing. The situation is understandable, considering the lack of defensive solidity in this current Blaugrana setup. Gerard Pique is in the dying embers of his illustrious career, while Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti are out of favour.
This leaves youngsters Oscar Mingueza, Eric Garcia and Ronald Araujo as the frontline centre-backs for the Catalan giants. The club will need to address this soon by adding a more experienced campaigner. And even though de Ligt might not be a lot older than the aforementioned three defenders, he has a lot more experience and exposure at the highest level, making him an ideal fit at Camp Nou.
However, as per the report, signing de Ligt next year will not be easy as Juventus have no intentions of selling him at the moment. The Bianconeri are planning to hold talks with his agent, Raiola, over the possibility of a new contract.
De Ligt does have a release clause that comes into effect at the end of the season. However, with the amount standing at a massive €120 million, Barcelona have very little chance of triggering that given their poor financial state. So, as things stand, the Catalans may hold an interest in the 22-year-old, but a move next year looks highly unlikely.