Liverpool among clubs to miss out on Matthijs de Ligt with Barcelona chief Josep Maria Bartomeu ‘in Holland to complete signing’ of Ajax starlet
- Barcelona are set to meet with teenage star Matthijs de Ligt in the coming days
- Josep Maria Bartomeu is in Amsterdam and planning talks with the Ajax starlet
- De Ligt is under contract until 2021 and will command a sizable fee of £64m
- It will come as a blow to Jurgen Klopp, who was keen to sign him for Liverpool
Barcelona are reportedly set to meet with teenage star Matthijs de Ligt in the coming days as they look to complete a big-money move for the Ajax centre back.
Fresh from raiding the Dutch giants for Frenkie de Jong in January they now want to tie up a deal for his team-mate.
Club chief Josep Maria Bartomeu is set to hold talks with Ajax as he tries to complete a deal before the rest of Europe’s elite make their move.
Barcelona are reportedly set to meet with teenage star Matthijs de Ligt in the coming days
According to Spanish radio station Onda Cero, Bartomeu will use his time in Holland to begin negotiations. The Barca president is reportedly already in the country for discussions over the potential formation of a European Super League.
The defender is set to meet with Edwin van der Sar, Marc Overmars and a delegation from the Nou Camp on Monday and Tuesday, according to reports from Mundo Deportivo over the weekend.
A deal is hoped to be agreed for him to move this summer ahead of the Champions League quarter-finals, the Spanish newspaper claimed.
It will come as a blow to the likes of Liverpool and Juventus, with both having held long-term interest in the 19-year-old.
De Ligt is under contract until 2021 and will command a fee of £64m, similar to that which Barca paid for de Jong.
Bartomeu has previously addressed rumours claiming Barca’s interest in De Ligt, confirming the Dutchman is on Ernesto Valverde’s wishlist.
The Ajax and Holland teenager is one of the most coveted youngsters across Europe
The 19-year-old has made 98 appearances for Ajax since making his debut in 2016
He recently told SER Catalunya: ‘His name is on the table. Where there is such talent away from Barcelona, we’re always looking at them.
‘It’s a topic that will be discussed in our sports planning which begins in March, with [Frenkie] De Jong we felt we had to move quickly because there were many clubs that wanted him.’
The Spanish league leaders are seeking defensive reinforcements with Samuel Umtiti appearing set for an operation on his troublesome knee at the end of the season and Thomas Vermaelen out of contract.
De Ligt is seen as the heir to Gerard Pique as the 32-year-old approaches the twilight of his career. The 19-year-old has made 98 appearances for Ajax since making his debut in 2016.
De Ligt played 90 minutes and scored in Holland’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Germany on Sunday night. Joachim Low’s side eventually won 3-2, despite squandering a 2-0 lead in the second-half.