Matthijs de Ligt will either go to Barca or Juventus
The signing of Matthijs de Ligt has progressed by leaps and bounds as at Barça, they are no longer concealing their confidence in getting de Ligt and they want to conclude this long drawn transfer dilemma as soon as possible. The latest report according to SPORT is that Bayern Munich have reduced their attention to the Dutch footballer and is focusing on signing another Ajax player, Hakim Ziyech, whose signing is almost assured.
As Bayern's interest moderates, Barça have an open run at signing de Ligt, except for any last-minute response by Juventus. The relationships between Barca and Ajax is very solid and Ajax have reportedly affirmed to accept the final verdict of the player, who has always been willing to sign for Barça. Speaking on Kick-Off Eredivisie show, head of sports Valentijn Driessen claimed that the deal to take De Ligt to Barcelona is now a certainty. He was quoted by The Sun as saying,
"It's clear that De Ligt will leave Ajax for Barca.
"Ajax made it clear to Barcelona that they don't have to pay extra for Matthijs, unlike for other clubs."
While many believe that FC Barcelona and AFC Ajax have all but an official deal confirmed as the Catalans chase Matthijs de Ligt, it seems a new bidder has arrived that could change things.
According to FOX Sports Asia, Juventus are also looking to raid in and bring the AFC Ajax star to Turin. The Serie A giants know that Barcelona are serious with their bid but Juve feel that they are still in the game to try and bring in the Dutch star to play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.
At 19, De Ligt has been very majestic, leading the young Ajax team to the UEFA Champions League quarter finals as they now face Juve for a place in the last four. Juve know they have a difficult battle against Barca for De Ligt, but they know that in the line of football nothing is impossible.
When the Dutch defender was asked by Tuttosport whether the odds of playing with Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini could persuade him in moving to Turin, de Ligt had replied:
"It could be, but there are other clubs interested too.
"We’ll see at the right moment, but now I am focused on Ajax and not my future. My agent Mino Raiola is taking care of that.
"I really like Chiellini, as he is one of the best defenders in the world. I also appreciate Bonucci, so between them they are among the best centre-backs in Europe.
"For a young player like me, they are both examples to be inspired by. I am pleased with comparisons to Alessandro Nesta and Jaap Stam, as they were top players, but I have a long way to go in order to reach their level."
"Juventus are a great team. We believe in our chances of qualifying for the Champions League semi-finals because we are young and have less pressure on our shoulders.
"Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best players in the world and Juventus are stronger with him, but on the other hand it’d be fascinating to face off with him."
The heart of the matter
The signing of de Ligt had become the Spanish club's main intention over the last few months. Barça knew that the competition for de Ligt was going to become more serious these days and so they have quickly pushed the gear.
The Blaugrana's had presented its first formal offer, both to Ajax and the footballer, at the commencement of March. They wanted to mark territory and send a sharp message to all other clubs that they were going for the centre-back as a priority. The financial terms of transfer are somewhat mediocre compared to that of de Jong, but the player's importance at Barca is the same as perceived by his companion in Barcelona.
The agent of the Dutch superstar, Mino Raiola, has been observed discussing with Barca these days making it obvious that there is some more important offer on the board and that de Ligt is willing to offer the contract. In talks with his agent, Raiola, De Ligt has made it clear that he only wants to join Barcelona, according to Mundo Deportivo. Raiola, whose grand client list includes Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba, is known across the footballing world as one the most expensive agents to deal with. But De Ligt, 19, has reportedly told his agent he has no interest in a big-money move and is not motivated by financial gain.
It is also learned that Bayern had offered a similar contract to de Ligt but now have pulled out of the proceedings.
The Blaugrana club, in correspondence, has made it clear to Ajax that it is not willing to raise its offer. They are stocked in a certain amount and will not enter into a bid that raises the amount of the transfer.
Barça is idling for the player to reach his final decision so that they can stimulate the entire procedure and close the signing. The idea of both the clubs is to end the whole dilemma before the first leg of the quarter-finals of the Champions League against Juventus. Sources of the club have reportedly confirmed that the management is trying to close the signing by these dates. Nevertheless, it all depends on the player and Ajax who are willing to hear all the offers that are coming lately, although the confidence from Barca's side is absolute.