La Liga Rumours: Barcelona target two superstars after Champions League debacle
What’s the story?
According to a report from Spanish media outlet AS, Barcelona are looking to strengthen their squad in the summer, more so after their humiliating exit from the Champions League at the hands of Liverpool.
The Catalan giants have had their sights on Ajax prodigy Matthijs de Ligt for some time now, while Antoine Griezmann is another long-term target for Barcelona.
In case you didn’t know…
Despite being just 19-year-old, De Ligt has proven to be an asset for Ajax. The Dutchman showed his calibre with powerful performances against the likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Juventus and Tottenham, who knocked Ajax from the semi-finals of the Champions League last night.
Barring his superior defensive abilities, De Ligt's leadership skills and composure sets him apart. De Ligt is a product of Ajax' famed academy and the Dutch starlet is showing all the signs of a world-class defender.
On the other hand, Griezmann has endured a roller-coaster campaign with Atletico Madrid. The Spanish giants are set to end their campaign without any silverware, following their premature exits from the Champions League and the Copa del Rey. Griezmann has racked up 21 goals and 10 assists in all competitions for his club this season and the Frenchman's release clause will drop to €120 million from €200 million in the summer.
The heart of the matter
It is an open secret that Barcelona have been scouting De Ligt for some time now and the Dutch defender is a major target for the Catalan giants, along with Griezmann.
According to the report, it is crystal clear that they are desperate to sign a world-class defender, who will feature alongside Gerard Pique in the defense. The Blaugrana hierarchy have already hinted that they are planning a move for De Ligt, but signing Griezmann may cause controversy among the board and players.
Griezmann publicly rejected the chance to join Barcelona and signed a new contract with Atletico Madrid last summer. Barcelona board has doubts over how the French forward will settle beside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. Moreover, Griezmann won't be willing to play as a second fiddle.
Barcelona will next face Getafe in La Liga on Sunday and it remains to be seen if the Catalan manage to sign De Ligt and Griezmann in the upcoming summer transfer window.