Barcelona have reportedly set their sights on Ajax duo Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt as their priorities in the transfer market moving forward.
The Catalan giants remain on course to secure more immediate success as coach Ernesto Valverde looks to follow up their domestic double last season.
However, with a number of club stalwarts such as Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Luis Suarez on the wrong side of 30, the reigning La Liga champions must also be aware of having a long-term plan in place to ensure that they can sustain their success beyond the next few seasons.
With that in mind, Mundo Deportivo claim that De Jong is their No.1 transfer priority to bolster the midfield, with the talented youngster doing enough to convince Barcelona albeit it’s added that he could cost as much as €70m.
That’s not the only raid on Ajax being touted though, as Mundo Deportivo add that teammate De Ligt is also on the Barcelona radar, while it’s suggested that he could fetch €68m for the Dutch giants which in turn means Barca are going to have to splash out big money to snap them both up.
It remains to be seen if they have the necessary transfer funds to do so, but as noted by the Swiss Ramble twitter account earlier this week, they already have the biggest wage bill in all of Europe, and so perhaps signing younger players for bigger fees but on lower wages might form the basis of their strategy moving forward.
Not only is #FCBarcelona’s €487m wage bill the highest in Spain, but it is also by some distance the highest in Europe. As a comparison, the top English wages are: #MUFC €337m (€150m lower), #MCFC €300m (€187m lower). pic.twitter.com/OVUFc9cRQa
— Swiss Ramble (@SwissRamble) November 13, 2018
Time will tell if the double swoop materialises, but with flaws in defence and midfield, as evidenced by the fact that they’ve conceded 18 goals in just 12 league games so far this season, it’s clear that Barcelona need to act in the market to address those specific areas of their squad.