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De Ligt says 'no' to Barcelona

De Ligt says 'no' to Barcelona

Stanley Gontha/PRO SHOTS/AFP/AFP

Stanley Gontha/PRO SHOTS/AFP/AFP

Barcelona are out of the running for Ajax's Matthijs de Ligt, according to reports in Spain, leaving PSG, Juventus and Bayern Munich in the bidding war.

Ajax captain Matthijs De Ligt has rejected an offer by Barcelona, according to reports in Spain.

Barcelona were the early frontrunners to land the player after his Ajax and Dutch team mate Frenkie De Jong signed for the Blaugrana in January.

But in recent weeks Barca have reportedly fallen behind in the race and the 19-year-old defender’s agent, Mino Raiola, has officially turned down the offer from Camp Nou, according to a report by Spanish radio programme El Laguero.

According to the report, Barca president Josep Bartomeu intervened in the negotiations to try to convince the player himself after Raiola had said ‘no’. But De Ligt’s answer was reportedly that if his agent has said no, then he was in agreement with his decision.

PSG remain in prime position to land De Ligt

PSG remain in pole position to sign the young defender. The French club have reportedly agreed to match Barca’s original 75-million-euro offer to Ajax, but have proposed a more attractive salary package (conflicting reports have stated figures of both 12 million and 20 million euros a year).

But another bidder, Juventus are apparently not giving up hope just yet. On Monday, Tuttosport reported that Juve vice-president Pavel Nerved and sporting director Fabio Paratici were in Monaco to meet with Raiola to present a new offer for De Ligt in a last-ditch effort to sway his decision. (The executives of the Italian club also spoke with Raiola about the prospect of the return to Turin of Paul Pogba, who is another of the agent's clients).

Along with PSG and Juve, Manchester United and Bayern Munich are still seemingly in the bidding war for the sought-after young Ajax defender, for which Barcelona now seem out of the picture.