Barcelona accelerate their move for Ajax centre-back Matthijs de Ligt

The club want De Ligt to join De Jong at Camp Nou this summer

De Ligt ya destacaba en las categorías inferiores del Ajax | AJAX

Barcelona moved quickly to down the signing of Frenkie de Jong, who will join the club from Ajax in the summer after Josep Maria Bartomeu handled negotiations. 

The deal has influenced another operation Barça hope to do this summer: sign Ajax centre-back Matthijs de Ligt. The interest in the two players has fluctuated throughout the season. De Ligt was a priority ahead of De Jong. Then things changed, De Jong was signed and De Ligt's future still needs to be resolved. 

De Ligt's wanted by Europe's biggest clubs. In fact, two of them, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have already made moves to do a deal. The Italians were close at one point and the French side made a huge financial offer. 

But the signing of De Jong changed something for De Ligt. Two days after the transfer was confirmed, he said in the mixed zone at the Johan Cruyff Arena that anyone "would like to play for Barça." 

Barça are working on that. They're putting the pieces of the puzzle in place as they look to fend off the competition. 

In this sense, and despite the fact Barça are prepared to pay similar to what they paid for De Jong (an initial 75 million), it's likely De Ligt's agent, Mino Raiola, will use the other offers to ask Barça to make more of an effort. 

Ajax, meanwhile, as with De Jong, will have no problem reaching an agreement with Barça. Josep Maria Bartomeu coincided with the Dutch club's CEO, Edwin van der Sar, at this week's ECA assembly. Barça president Bartomeu was accompanied by CEO Oscar Grau. 

De Ligt wants to make a decision on his future before the Champions League quarterfinal against Juve. He wants to be able to focus on the end of the season without speculation about his next move. 


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