Barcelona inform Euro giants they will pay no more than €80m for top target

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Barcelona have reportedly insisted that they will pay no more than €80m for Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt this summer as they await an answer.

The 19-year-old was a defensive rock for the Dutch giants this past season, leading them to a domestic double having made 55 appearances.

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As well as being a solid option at the back, De Ligt also bagged seven goals and four assists to contribute in attack too as he firmly established himself as one of the top talents in Europe.

In turn, it’s no surprise that other clubs are interested in him, but as noted by Calciomercato, Barcelona aren’t willing to exceed €80m to prise him away from the reigning Eredivisie champions.

Speculation has linked the Catalan giants with De Ligt for some time, with ESPN reporting in April that they were closing in on a deal worth €80m for the Dutch international.

His future still remains uncertain though, albeit now Ajax seemingly know how much Barcelona are willing to splash out if they wish to green light an exit.

From a Barca perspective, coach Ernesto Valverde could be in need of a long-term solution in defence, especially with Samuel Umtiti struggling with a troublesome knee injury this past season.

Veteran Thomas Vermaelen will leave the Nou Camp this summer as his contract is set to expire, and so there will be a need for additional competition for the likes of Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet.

De Ligt could solve that issue, but it remains to be seen if €80m will be enough to convince Ajax to allow him to follow current teammate Frenkie de Jong to the Nou Camp, with BBC Sport noting that the midfield ace has already agreed to a €75m+ move.

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