Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu will be travelling to the Netherlands this week to seal the deal for De Ligt for around €60m
The Netherlands centre-back Matthijs De Ligt is one of the most sought after defenders for Europe’s elite clubs. He is only 19 but his impressive performances in the Eredivisie and Champions League has earned him the captain’s armband of Ajax. He has also made 104 appearances for Ajax, as well as earning 13 caps for the Netherlands.
According to Sport, Barcelona have put forward an initial offer of €60m, which will also include add-ons, along with a five-year deal for De Ligt. Sources close to the negotiation said: “The transfer is on track and the club are very optimistic of securing his signature ahead of European rivals Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich.”
The Barcelona president is already in the Netherlands for talks over the possible creation of a new European Super League. But he will use his trip as an excuse to meet with Ajax chiefs and discuss their star’s situation. Bartomeu has previously addressed rumours claiming Barcelona’s interest in De Ligt, confirming the Dutchman is on Ernesto Valverde’s wishlist. He told SER Catalunya: “His name is on the table. Where there is such talent away from Barcelona, we’re always looking at them.”
Ajax director of football Marc Overmars played for Barcelona and Ajax have adopted many of the same philosophies as Barcelona. So Ajax academy product De Ligt is almost tailor-made for the Catalan club. He is a composed presence at the back and he excels in bringing the ball out from defence and linking play with their midfield.
Barcelona great Gerard Pique is now 32. He is in the twilight phase of his career at the club. So as far as able candidates are concerned, there is no one better suited than De Ligt to replace him. Therefore it would be an excellent acquisition if Barcelona can secure his signature.