The competition for Matthijs de Ligt‘s signature increases by the day.
Barcelona have been heavily linked with Matthijs de Ligt due to his sky-high potential and how he is seen as the ideal long-term replacement for Gerard Pique.
They have already secured the signature of his talented teammate Frenkie de Jong, but they will have a huge fight on their hands with a number of other European giants to bring him in.
According to The Sun, Arsenal are the latest club to express interest in the 19-year-old, although that is dependent on finishing in the Champions League places as well as offloading high earner Mesut Ozil in order to have the necessary funds for his transfer fee and wages as he is currently valued at £70 million by Ajax.
In contrast to the other clubs who have been linked, Arsenal aren’t a serious threat. Bayern Munich, Juventus, Manchester City and Liverpool are much more attractive destinations than the North London side.
In terms of playing style, City are the closest to Barca and both would be a nice transition from De Ligt’s time at Ajax due to the strong philosophical similarities.
He would be a costly addition for the Catalans, however, it would address a major need for the club. Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet have the left-sided centre-back role locked down, but they only have one young option on the other side with Pique the main option and Jeison Murillo providing cover on loan from Valencia.
Jean-Clair Todibo is yet to make his debut for the club after joining in the January transfer window from Toulouse — he has reportedly impressed in training though which is a positive sign.
They can’t afford to take a risk in such an important position because the centre-backs are integral in bringing the ball out and recycling around the pitch so that they don’t have to play directly as a team.
Without a confident, technically gifted ball-playing centre-back in this position, Barcelona’s whole play suffers considerably.
De Ligt has all the tools to succeed and at 19-years-old he could easily fill that role for the next 15 years.