Bengaluru, March 13: Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is preparing to step up his bid to bring Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt to Camp Nou as per reports in Spain.
Despite the presence of fellow Dutchman Virgil van Dijk at Liverpool, it is understood that the Blaugrana will be able to beat the Reds for the signing of the Ajax prodigy.
The man at the helm at the Catalan giants has already conceded that the Dutchman’s “name is on the table” as summer transfer plans are set in place.
Although he is just 19, De Ligt is already a senior Netherlands international and captain of his club side, and is considered to be a useful addition for the present and future.
Liverpool had been credited with holding an interest in pairing the teenager with his fellow countryman Van Dijk at Anfield.
Meanwhile, Manchester City and Juventus are also closely monitoring events in Amsterdam, with the Premier League and Serie A title holders forever in the market for top talent.
With competition for a prized signature in the offing, Barcelona acknowledge that they need to act fast. They already have a deal in place which will see Frenkie de Jong trade the Eredivisie for La Liga in the next transfer window, with a €75 million (£65m/$85m) agreement set to be pushed through.
It would likely require a similar fee in order to land the current holder of the prestigious Golden Boy award. Barcelona’s technical secretary, Eric Abidal, has already met with De Ligt to sound him out on a switch. Initial talks were held in November, but the situation has progressed considerably since then.
With De Jong on board, Barcelona want another addition tied up in April and signing De Ligt could fix their defence in the long run.
The Dutch giants have never stood in the way of any player that wants to further himself outside of their control and they are aware that De Ligt will move on at some stage.
Marc Overmars, the club’s director of football, has already admitted as much and Barcelona and Ajax have always been on good terms which could come handy for the Catalans.