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BARCELONA

De Ligt: move is in the heart as Ajax star chooses Barça

De Ligt: move is in the heart as Ajax star chooses Barça

PRESSINPHOTO/GTRES

Esport 3 reports that Ajax directors are happy to sanction the move this summer and that cordial relations with Camp Nou may see a €70m price tag approved.

Despite initial impressions – that Ajax would be pretty reluctant to do business with Barcelona for Matthijs de Ligt after selling Frenkie de Jong to the Liga side – it now appears that the Dutch club are resigned to losing the Netherlands international and would prefer him to move to Camp Nou than elsewhere.

Crucially for Barça, De Ligt has also expressed his desire to join his teammate in Spain this summer. According to Esport 3, who have been following the situation closely, Spanish journalist Oriol Doménech has learned that negotiations between Ajax executives and their Barça counterparts are ongoing and that even members of De Ligt’s family have all but confirmed the 2018 Golden Boy will be playing at Barça next season.

Ajax would prefer to do business with Barça

Barça see the addition of De Ligt as a strategic long-term investment given that Gerard Piqué (32), Samuel Umtiti (25) and Clément Lenglet (23) are hardly past it and the recent addition of Jean-Clair Todibo (19) has added extra youth to the central defensive positions. Furthermore, the cordial relationship between Barça president Josep Maria Bartomeu and Ajax sporting director Marc Overmars – a former Barça player – is expected to hand the Camp Nou board an additional bonus: a fee in the region of 70 million euros.

Given the money currently being bandied about in the transfer market and the probability that other clubs - PSG, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Manchester City have all watched De Ligt - Barça will hope to tie up a deal as quickly as possible, as they did for De Jong in January