?Barcelona are to welcome Ajax centre-back Matthijs de Ligt to the Camp Nou in the coming months with a proposed €45m (£40m) move set to be completed in January, according to Dutch television news outlet Ziggo Sport, as quoted by ?Sport Bible

The Catalonians have been on the hunt for a young centre-back for some time, with the target to replace ageing Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano sooner rather than later very much a priority. 

It had been thought that Ernesto Valverde’s side were eyeing up one of any of Lazio’ Stefan de Vrij, Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli or RB Leipzig’s up and coming star Dayot Upamecano, however it appears De Ligt is the preferable choice. 

Just earlier this week there were reports that the 18-year-old, who only signed a new deal over the summer, had decided to remain at the Johan Cruijff Arena for the foreseeable future in order to master his trade before moving on. 

However, according to the Dutch broadcaster, the €45m deal is set to take place in the upcoming transfer window, allowing Barca to capture one of the most highly thought of young defenders on the continent. 

The Netherlands international, even at such a young age, has been one of the stand-out players within the Eredivisie so far this campaign, starting all 12 of Ajax’s outings and playing an instrumental role in his side holding the joint best defensive record in the league alongside third place PEC Zwolle

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