Why Barcelona risk losing out in transfer battle for Ajax star Matthijs de Ligt

Matthijs De Ligt

Barcelona are no longer the frontrunners to secure the signing of Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt, say reports.

The 19-year-old was among the stars of the Dutch club’s run to the Champions League semi-finals this season and has attracted the interest of some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

Barça, Juventus, PSG and Bayern Munich are keen to land his signature, while Premier League clubs Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool have also been linked.

Despite Sky Sports claiming on Monday that the centre-back was closing in on a move to the Camp Nou, sources have told ESPN FC that this is not the case.

The outlet says that any optimism the Spanish side had about closing a deal in recent weeks has faded due to the excessive demands coming from the player and his agent Mino Raiola – currently banned from activity for three months by FIFA.

“We can't move any more on what we've offered," a Barcelona source said. 

"One of the things that could benefit us is the player's desire to come here, but we will see if that really is what he wants in the end."

Barça have already secured the €75 million signing of De Ligt’s team-mate Frenkie de Jong and have been considered as frontrunners to land the defender for some time now. 

However, their failure to reach an agreement with De Ligt means the likes of Juve, PSG and Bayern have been handed the chance to put a better offer on the table.

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