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Barcelona eye 18-year-old Dutch wonderkid, face real competition to land signature

Barcelona are reportedly fighting it out with Borussia Dortmund over the signing of young Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt.

The Catalan giants are seemingly making a point of lowering the average age of their squad with quality young players being targeted.

That was seen this past summer with the signings of Ousmane Dembele and Nelson Semedo, although naturally they will balance that out with the more senior players and signings like Paulinho.

According to Mundo Deportivo though, 18-year-old De Ligt has caught their eye having impressed for Dutch giants Ajax and having established himself as a Netherlands international already.

However, the report notes that Dortmund are leading the race and that is helped by the fact that former Ajax coach Peter Bosz is now with the Bundesliga outfit and has a close relationship with the youngster having handed him his debut last season.

Nevertheless, Barcelona are said to be really keen on a deal and will use their close relationship with Marc Overmars, the current technical director at Ajax, as per Mundo Deportivo, to try and steal a march on the competition and push to the front of the queue for De Ligt.

The young starlet is under contract under 2021 so Ajax are in a strong position to keep him or make their firm demands, and as noted in the report, having collected €40m for Davinson Sanchez in his move to join Tottenham this past summer, they’ll be able to secure another good deal for themselves here.

However, it comes down to whether or not they’re ready to sell yet and if De Ligt wishes to move on so early in his career. With Real Madrid also noted as an admirer, it’s clear he has his pick, but staying at Ajax for another season at least could be a sensible choice for the youngster.

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