It is “clear” that Ajax defender Matthijs De Ligt will snub a move to the Premier League in favour of Barcelona, according to a report.
The 19-year-old is one of the hottest prospects in European football, having asserted himself at the heart of both the Ajax and the Netherlands national team’s defence.
De Ligt has been on the radar of Liverpool and Manchester United in recent months following his impressive performances, but according to Dutch journalist Valentijn Driessen – who works for De Telegraaf – the defender will opt for a move to Spain.
“Ajax left it clear to Barcelona that they don’t have to pay extra for Matthijs, unlike for other clubs,” Driessen told Spanish publication Sport.
The journalist adds that Ajax and Barcelona are set to form a mutual relationship regarding transfers in the years to come, with De Ligt the first of a potential string of players to move between the clubs.
De Ligt was alleged to have become one of the more recent additions to the list of centre-back targets drawn up by United, with Leicester City’s Harry Maguire, Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane and Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar all reportedly on that list too.
Liverpool, meanwhile, are believed to want De Ligt to join up with fellow Netherlands defender Virgil van Dijk in the club’s back line.
Read about other ongoing transfer rumours from across European football with our Euro Paper Talk column.
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