Manchester City may have missed out on Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong, but are the main bidder for his teammate Matthijs de Ligt, according to a report from the Netherlands.
Barcelona have won the race for De Jong, with De Telegraaf reporting that City actually pulled out of the race earlier along with Juventus, leaving Barcelona and PSG to duke it out for the 21-year-old – a battle the Catalans ultimately won.
And it is claimed by another leading Dutch source Voetbal International today that City’s main target from Ajax is in fact De Ligt, who many believe is the great talent at the Dutch giants, even more so than De Jong.
Their information is that Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Juventus and Manchester City want 19-year-old De Ligt, but that City are the ‘main bidder’ having made the Ajax captain their top defensive target for next summer.
City currently have four established centre-backs – Aymeric Laporte, John Stones, Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi – plus a high quality prospect in Eric Garcia, but Kompany’s career is winding down with further fitness problems currently keeping him out, and there are some doubts about Nico Otamendi’s future.
“He’s not happy,” Pep said of Otamendi yesterday. “I don’t have an answer. When he plays he’s happy, when he doesn’t play he’s not happy, but not just Otamendi – everybody. All of them.”
Though City are well-stocked on central defenders, De Ligt is considered a generational talent, one that may be too good to pass on if the opportunity arrives to sign him – and the word from the Netherlands is that they intend to try.