Manchester City are in pole position to sign one of European football’s most promising centre-backs, Ajax’s Matthijs de Ligt, Simon Mullock reports in the Sunday Mirror.
De Ligt, 18, is also wanted by Arsenal and Bayern Munich but both have baulked at his valuation after Ajax slapped a £50million price-tag on him.
Barcelona are also known to be interested in De Ligt, but the Dutch international fears he would be benched if he moved to Camp Nou.
That leaves City in an advantageous position and the Blues will have scouts in attendance today when De Ligt features for Ajax against PSV Eindhoven at the Amsterdam Arena in one of the biggest games of the Dutch calendar.
De Ligt, who has made 29 league appearances for Ajax this season and two each in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, is being compared to Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk.
And with Vincent Kompany injury prone and now 32, Pep Guardiola will again be looking at centre-back options, particularly if he decides to use a 3-5-2 formation regularly.
The Blues have spent lavishly on central defenders for a number of years, most recently breaking the club record to sign Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao in January.
De Ligt could be next to join the £50million club if City follow up on their strong interest with a bid for the talented teenager.
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