BARCELONA could land Ajax wonderkid Matthijs de Ligt for a cut fee this summer.
Ajax captain De Ligt is one of the hottest prospects in world football.
The young Dutchman led his side to memorable Champions League wins over Real Madrid and Juventus at just 19-years-old.
But while Ajax’s fairytale story was cut short by Tottenham last Wednesday, several players are expected to complete their dream moves this summer.
Frenkie de Jong will complete a £65m move to Barcelona on July 1 – and several other stars could join him in heading out of the Dutch capital.
“Ajax are not about to give the player away”
David Neres is expected to make a move to the Premier League, with Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool all reportedly interested in him.
But De Ligt isn’t thought to be keen on a move to England, turning down a potential move to Manchester United.
Instead, he is expected to link up with pal De Jong at the Nou Camp.
Having already shelled out a lot for the Holland midfielder, their hands are tied due to Financial Fair Play rules.
But transfer expert Guillem Balague reckons the La Liga side could strike up a deal with Ajax to bring him in at a lower price.
Balague thinks Barcelona can tempt Johan Cruyff Arena bigwigs to sell their prized possession by persuading them De Ligt can flourish in Catalonia.
“Barcelona will have the job of trying to persuade the youngster that while they are unable to pay him the sort of money that some of the competition would be willing to, that Barcelona is the right move for him in the next stage of what promises to be a stellar career,” Balague told Football Index.
“Meetings last week in Amsterdam between his representative and Barcelona directors have left the Catalans confident of convincing him.
“Ajax are not about to give the player away but would nonetheless be prepared to sell him to Barcelona at a reduced price of around €70-80m if he feels that is where he wants to play.”
Barca are likely to face competition from several of Europe’s elite though, with Balague insisting anyone who wants to dominate should be keeping tabs on De Ligt.
He went on: “Barring a freak sequence of results in the last league game of the season this Wednesday, last weekend De Ligt skippered Ajax to their first Eredivisie title since 2014 and now an orderly queue, headed by Barcelona and comprising much of the world’s footballing elite, is currently forming outside the player’s door as they look to entice him away from Amsterdam.
“Among them, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, PSG and Juventus, while Real Madrid say they are not interested at the moment, although if they are looking for a centre back to dominate for the next ten years then they most certainly should be.”