The rollercoaster ride which is Matthijs de Ligt's on-off move to FC Barcelona shows no signs of slowing down just yet. And the latest news doesn't make for good reading as the defender's future appears not be at the Camp Nou.
After securing a deal for Frenkie de Jong, Barça quickly moved for his teammate and friend de Ligt. An agreement between the player and Barça was reached in April and the club was confident of offering a bid to Ajax's liking, somewhere in the region of €70m. It seemed like a move was on the cards when de Ligt expressed a desire to have everything confirmed before he joined up for international duty.
However that didn't turn out to be the case. Ajax's incredible season meant de Ligt and his agent, Mino Raiola, demanded improved terms to honour the original deal. This was done due to richer sides such as Manchester United declaring an interest in the defender.
Barça refused to renegotiate as they feel the original agreement was fair. They hope de Ligt's desire to play for the LaLiga club will tip the balance in their favour, as well as the opportunity to link up with his friend de Jong again next season.
Barça stick to their guns
Yet those arguments are falling on death ears due to Matthijs and Raiola's fresh demands. They hope Barça will match the offers on the table from other clubs, notably United, who are offering him over €14m per season.
Barça aren't going to upset the squad environment by paying the youngster more than most of their star players. Josep Maria Bartomeu and Barça will stick to their guns and ask that de Ligt honours his previous agreement. Messi or money: that's the question de Ligt needs to answer.