Reports: Barcelona planning a January swoop for a €40M Ajax startlet
What's the story?
Spanish newspaper, Sport (via CaughtOffside), claim that Barcelona would be pushing for a January move for Ajax prodigy Matthijs de Ligt to settle their defensive issues this season.
Even though Barcelona sit on the second spot of LaLiga table, it is apparent that the Catalan giants have not started well this season, as their sloppy defence seems to be a major concern for manager Ernesto Valverde.
The Catalans have already conceded nine goals in just eight league games so far, giving them the worst defensive record amongst the league's top eight sides.
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The 19-year-old Ajax prodigy has already made 74 appearances for the senior side and has seven caps for the Netherlands as well.
His defensive qualities and the ability to play out from the back has made him one of the most wanted players in Europe right now.
Barcelona would have to pay in the legions of €40-50 million in order to bring the Dutchman to Camp Nou in January.
The heart of the matter
Gerard Pique has not been playing the best of football this season. On the other hand, new summer signing Clement Lenglet needs more time to settle into the Catalan line-up.
Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo claims that Barcelona's ace defender Samuel Umtiti could be out for four months, if he requires surgery is required for his knee injury. This might prove to be a major blow for Valverde's side.
The 19-year-old from Ajax has a playing style that might suit Barcelona's tactics and Valverde is planning a January swoop for the Dutchman which might help them settles their defensive woes once and for all.
Rumour rating/probability: 6/10
While the above-mentioned source is not quite reliable when talking about football transfers, they might be on the money with respect to of this news, as Barcelona have been struggling with their defence of late.
January transfer window might bring the Dutchman to Camp Nou.
Ernesto Valverde would have to rely on the exploits of Lionel Messi and his other attacking players in order to maintain their league table position till January, as Pique's poor form coupled with Umtiti's injury is a major concern for their back-line, which looks very sloppy at the moment.
January transfer window would be a big opportunity for Barcelona to find the solution to the same.