?Having recently lost ground in the race for Ajax’s starlet Matthijs de Ligt, Barcelona will apparently make one final attempt to lure the 19-year-old to the Nou Camp.
The Spanish champions believed they had agreed a deal for the centre-back in March, but have since found their offer topped by rivals for his signature, with Paris Saint-Germain leading a pack of interested clubs.
However, ?ESPN report that Barça have been in contact with De Ligt’s agent, Mina Raiola, in a last-gasp bid to bring him to Catalonia.
If the? La Liga table-toppers are successful in that regard, the Ajax captain will link up with former teammate Frenkie de Jong at ?La Blaugrana. Significantly, Barcelona’s refusal to offer De Ligt a better contract than the latter is a key factor holding up the transfer.
It remains unclear precisely how they will convince him to join their ranks, with further financial incentive seemingly out the question. Nevertheless, if negotiations between player and club are positive then the move should be wrapped up rather smoothly, with Barça already having agreed a fee in the region of €80m for his sale with Ajax.
Ernesto Valverde’s team may try to tempt De Ligt using the same approach they employed during their pursuit of De Jong. After apparently missing out on the midfielder, president Josep Maria Bartomeu flew to Amsterdam to tell him in no uncertain terms how much the five-time European champions wanted him.
However, if their attempts prove fruitless and they fail to win the centre-back over, PSG are poised to snaffle him up, though they face stiff competition.
?Juventus are keen on the youngster and enlisted talismanic forward Cristiano Ronaldo to aid their chances of signing him, the Portuguese discussing a move to Italy with De Ligt following the Nations League final between the duo’s respective countries.
English pair ?Manchester United and ?Liverpool are also known admirers of the Dutchman, though they have neither the financial advantage of PSG nor the relational one held by Juve and Barça. Ultimately, this comes down to what’s more important to the individual involved; money or glory.