- Barcelona linked with swoop for Ajax youngster Matthijs De Ligt in January
- Valverde will need long-term options in defence at the Nou Camp
- The Catalan giants reportedly hope to secure a deal soon to snap up the talented starlet
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Barcelona will be eager to address their backline sooner rather than later, and reports claim that they’ve got an ideal target in mind to solve the issue.
Beyond Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti, boss Ernesto Valverde doesn’t have the greatest amount of depth with Javier Mascherano and Thomas Vermaelen available to fill in.
In terms of long-term options, that doesn’t paint a particularly positive picture given their respective ages, and so the Catalan giants will surely want to bring in more competition and youth.
That seems to be the situation as per Mundo Deportivo, who claim that Barcelona are eager to secure an agreement for Ajax youngster Matthijs de Ligt in January in order to get ahead of the competition elsewhere around Europe and secure his signing.
The 18-year-old made a positive impression last season as he impressed both domestically and in the club’s run to the Europa League final, and so he would undoubtedly have attracted plenty of eyes having made a breakthrough at senior level at such a young age and is now a first-team regular.
Barcelona have work cut out to seal signing of Ajax starlet
Ajax will of course believe that he has a big future ahead of him having already shown such faith in him, and will surely want to keep hold of the youngster for a little while longer rather than immediately cash in.
It’s added by Mundo Deportivo that the €40m sale of Davinson Sanchez to Tottenham in the summer means that they don’t need the money, and so it potentially makes Barcelona’s attempts of prising De Ligt away a little tricker as the Dutchman will surely want regular football at this stage of his career too.
In turn, it’s sounds like it will be a difficult negotiation for Barcelona, but they should be commended for their transfer strategy alone. Signing De Ligt next year would avoid leaving them short if the older heads in the squad move on, while the talented youngster will have an opportunity to learn from the likes of Pique before stepping in to replace him.
However, it remains to be seen whether or not they’re successful in January, but De Ligt looks as though he’ll only improve and mature with more playing time, and that usually results in heftier demands and more competition so moving now is a sensible idea.