There's one club that could beat Barcelona to Matthijs de Ligt

De Ligt Barcelona Bayern

Bayern Munich are set to rival Barcelona for the signature of Ajax defender Mattijs de Ligt, according to Sport.

De Ligt has emerged as one of the hottest properties in European football this season, with his exemplary displays helping Ajax into the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

The Dutchman has also formed a fearsome centre-back partnership with Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk at international level, and has already won 15 caps for his country at the age of 19.

Barcelona have been heavily linked with a move for the teenage defender this summer, with previous reports suggesting that they were in pole position to sign a player who has also been watched by PSG, Juventus and Liverpool.

But Bayern have emerged as a potential alternative destination as they plan a squad overhaul ahead of next season.

The Bavarians failed to reach the Champions League quarter-finals and are only ahead of Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on goal difference.

Bayern kick-started their rebuild by completing the £68m signing of Lucas Hernandez from Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, and they are keen to bolster their defensive ranks further.

Barcelona remain confident that they will win the race for De Ligt, but Bayern are willing to spend the £60m that it would probably take to acquire the Dutchman this summer.  

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Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).