Ajax duo Matthijs De Ligt and Frenkie De Jong are subjects of interest from Real Madrid, as club president Florentino Perez plots a winter swoop.
Both men have become highly sought after in recent months after their performances in the Eredivisie and for the Netherlands national team, after displaying maturity and ability belying their tender age.
De Ligt (19) and De Jong (21) have featured prominently for Ajax during the 2018-19 campaign so far, which has seen the team push reigning Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven hard at the top of the domestic league table.
Ajax are two points behind their arch-rivals in the Eredivisie and also going strong in the Champions League, with their place in the knockout phase already booked after qualifying from a group containing Bayern Munich, Benfica and AEK Athens with a game to spare.
De Jong and De Ligt have played no small part in the team’s recent success, but they may both have a decision to make when the transfer window reopens as Real Madrid aim to bring them both to the Santiago Bernabeu for €140 million – according to Don Balon.
Los Blancos are five points off the pace in La Liga at the moment and have struggled to produce the same level of performances which saw them crowned European champions for a third successive year back in May, much to the annoyance of Perez.
The Madrid chief is hoping that an influx of January signings can spark a revival of fortunes on the pitch and he has identified the Dutch duo as targets after their impressive start to the year.
De Ligt is a centre-back with huge potential, having already shown he has the positional sense and technical ability to lead in the heart of the defence and with Sergio Ramos approaching the latter stages of his career, the Ajax starlet could be the ideal long-term replacement.
De Jong, meanwhile, is a central midfielder with exceptional ability, capable of driving the team forward with his brilliant passing range and technical skill, but also equally astute when it comes to working back in defence.
This story could develop quickly over the next few weeks, but Madrid may face stiff competition for the two superstars from the likes of Manchester City and Barcelona – as per Don Balon.