Manchester City want to make Frenkie de Jong their marquee signing of next summer’s transfer window, but will not be pursuing one of his often-linked teammates, it is claimed.
While De Jong’s future is dominating headlines, his friend and Ajax teammate Matthijs de Ligt has also been commonly linked with a move to the Etihad Stadium and touted as a long-term replacement for club captain Vincent Kompany.
However, in the latest story from Spain about the future of these two generational talents, who have the eyes of Europe’s elite on them, it is said City are not in the running for De Ligt.
The claim from Mundo Deportivo is that while City are all-in for De Jong, high-level sources at the Etihad Stadium have ruled out a move for 19-year-old De Ligt, with a new centre-back not on Pep Guardiola’s agenda.
City are in the enviable position of having four established central defenders in Aymeric Laporte, John Stones, Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi, while 17-year-old Eric Garcia impressed against Leicester in last night’s Carabao Cup win and Dutch recruit Philippe Sandler is also very highly rated and local boy Tosin Adarabioyo is enjoying a good loan spell at West Brom.
The Catalan newspaper also offers an update on the De Jong situation, stating that he should decide his future club before Ajax’s Champions League last 16 tie with Real Madrid. The race is now firmly between Barcelona, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, with Barça chief Eric Abidal said to be ‘intensifying contacts’ to try and secure him ahead of City.
Barcelona met with De Jong’s agent last Thursday, but there was no agreement between the two sides and his options are still open. Barcelona still consider Frenkie a priority, but with Guardiola having spoken to him personally, there is a real battle going on for one of Europe’s great upcoming midfielders.