Barcelona make the signing of Juventus defender Matthijs De Ligt their top priority-Reports

Barcelona are reportedly still interested in signing Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus in the summer. The Blaugrana were one of many clubs who were interested in signing the former Ajax star before he joined Juventus in the summer of 2019.

According to Calciomercato, Barcelona could pursue a deal for Matthijs de Ligt once again in the summer. The Blaugrana are desperate to sign a top-quality defender, as they look to find a permanent replacement for the ageing Gerard Pique.

Matthijs de Ligt began his career at Ajax’s famed youth academy. He made his debut for the Dutch giants in 2016 and soon became a regular in the playing XI.

Matthijs de Ligt first rose to prominence in the 2017-18 season, playing a key role in Ajax’s run to the Europa League final that season, where they lost to Manchester United. De Ligt was awarded the Golden Boy award that year, becoming the first defender to earn the coveted honour.

He continued his good form the next season, leading Ajax to the semi-finals of the Champions League, where they lost to Tottenham Hotspur.

Matthijs de Ligt was heavily linked with a move to a number of Europe’s elite clubs, with Barcelona tipped as one of the favourites to sign the Dutchman. The then-teenager, however, chose to move to Italian giants Juventus in a deal worth €75 million.

The 21-year-old won the Serie A in his first season with Juventus. Despite taking time to settle in Italy, Matthijs de Ligt has become one of Juventus’ key players under new manager Andrea Pirlo. He has established himself as a regular in the starting lineup ahead of the likes of seasoned veterans Leonardo Bonucci and Georgio Chiellini.

Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman is reportedly desperate to bring his fellow Dutchman to the club. Barcelona’s defence has been their Achilles heel this season, and the club will look to sign a defender this summer to bolster their options at the back.

Juventus unlikely to let go of Matthijs de Ligt amidst interest from Barcelona

Juventus vs FC Internazionale - Coppa Italia
Juventus vs FC Internazionale – Coppa Italia

Juventus are unlikely to let go of Matthijs de Ligt anytime in the near future. The Dutch defender, who arrived at Juventus in 2019, still has three years left in his contract with the club.

Andrea Pirlo is looking to build a squad for the future and has focused on signing young players with potential in the last two transfer windows. So the Italian may not entertain the thought of letting go of one of his most prized assets.

Barcelona, meanwhile, could find it difficult to make a move for Matthijs de Ligt, as the 21-year-old is likely to cost in excess of £70 million. With the Blaugrana suffering in excess of €1.2 billion in losses due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s unlikely Matthijs de Ligt will move to Barcelona.

Published 08 Mar 2021, 12:14 IST

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