Ajax coach names the two clubs that could sign Matthijs de Ligt this summer

Matthijs de Ligt

Ajax manager Erik ten Hag says the race to sign centre-back Matthijs de Ligt is between Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

De Ligt will leave Ajax at the end of the season according to his coach, who believes it is impossible to keep hold of his highly-rated 19-year-old beyond the summer.

Dutchman De Ligt has helped his team to a memorable campaign so far, with the Eredivisie side having knocked out Real Madrid en route to the Champions League quarter-finals and made it to the league summit on goal difference.

Barcelona have already agreed a deal to sign De Ligt’s team-mate Frenkie de Jong, who will move to the Camp Nou this summer – and Ajax boss Ten Hag says the Catalans are firmly in the mix to sign the young stopper too.

“There is zero chance that De Ligt will continue at Ajax,” he told German outlet Süddeutscheaid (opens in new tab).

“There are too many clubs interested in him. He will leave us this summer, but I don't know if he will go to Bayern or Barcelona.

“Our team plays with courage and creativity, partly because De Ligt is our captain. He has a lot of courage.

“Most of the Dutch players play with the ball at their feet, but he loves the art of defending. That's something new here.”

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Joe Brewin

Joe was the Deputy Editor at FourFourTwo until 2022, having risen through the FFT academy and been on the brand since 2013 in various capacities. 

By weekend and frustrating midweek night he is a Leicester City fan, and in 2020 co-wrote the autobiography of former Foxes winger Matt Piper – subsequently listed for both the Telegraph and William Hill Sports Book of the Year awards.