Three Premier League giants are interested in one of European football’s most promising young centre-backs, Ajax’s Matthijs de Ligt, Barcelona-based newspaper Mundo Deportivo reports.
Journalist Francesc Aguilar says this news comes from FC Barcelona, who have scouted 18-year-old de Ligt extensively and maintained contacts with his representatives in order to keep up to date with developments.
And information has reached the Catalan club that Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal have been in touch with de Ligt’s representative, Barry Hulshoff, mainly to register an interest in a player already capped three times by the Netherlands.
German champions Bayern Munich are the latest club to enter what could be a future bidding war for de Ligt, a player of exceptional talent and technical quality, who is attracting interest from major European clubs.
De Ligt decided in 2017 to continue developing at Amsterdam ArenA until the end of the season, and in June he will consider his next step, whether to join one of the interested clubs or continue at Ajax a while longer.
A move away from Ajax is a matter of when, not if, but the Dutch giants know they will be able to extract a significant fee for de Ligt, having sold Davinson Sánchez to Tottenham in a deal worth up to £42million last year.
City are not afraid to spend big on defenders, having some of the world’s most expensive defensive players on their books, including Aymeric Laporte, John Stones, Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker.
And though not short on centre-halves, the Blues are among the clubs showing serious interest in de Ligt, who could be Ajax’s next great export. Pep Guardiola is also a fan of de Ligt’s teammate, Frenkie de Jong, who is also subject to interest from City but decided to continue at Ajax for the time being.
So what’s all the hype about with Matthijs de Ligt? Check out this compilation of his talents for a glimpse: