Barcelona are reportedly at potential risk in their bid to sign Ajax duo Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong through a combination of competition and price-tags.
The Catalan giants have long been linked with a double swoop for the talented pair, as they continue to impress for club and country.
According to Calciomercato though, it’s claimed that Juventus have spoken with agent Mino Raiola, and the possibility of signing De Ligt has come up again with the Turin giants seemingly eager to bolster their defensive options with a long-term solution.
Given Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli are all now over 30, the Bianconeri will need to consider replacements eventually, and given De Ligt has continued to establish himself as one of the top talents in Europe, he could be an ideal addition.
With that in mind, it could be problematic for Barcelona who also have issues in that department. With Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen continuing to struggle with injury concerns this season, that leaves Ernesto Valverde with just Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet.
For a side looking to compete on multiple fronts year in and year out, that simply isn’t enough quality depth and competition. In turn, coupled with De Ligt’s technical quality and composure on the ball, he would be a great signing for the reigning Spanish champions and so they may need to step up their pursuit.
Meanwhile, Calciomercato also report, via Radio Catalunya, that Ajax will demand a whopping €75m for De Jong, which could in turn complicate Barcelona’s pursuit of the 21-year-old midfield starlet too.
That’s a lot of money for a young player yet to fully prove himself at the highest level on a consistent basis. While similarly to De Ligt, the youngster has the characteristics that most would associate with a successful and effective Barcelona midfielder, time will tell if Barca are willing to spend that much.
As per the report above, it’s suggested that they aren’t in a financial position to be able to even afford such a price-tag, and so they’ll hope negotiations can still lead to an agreement before a rival offer is made and possibly accepted.