Summer transfer move for Chelsea target Matthijs de Ligt confirmed by Club chief

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Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has confirmed that the club are interested in signing Chelsea star target Matthijs de Ligt.

De Ligt, 19, who is regarded as one of the finest young defenders in Europe, produced an outstanding performance in Ajax’s shock win over Real Madrid and is being heavily linked with a high-profile move this summer.

Juventus, Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, Manchester United and City are all competing to land De Ligt and reports last month suggested that Maurizio Sarri had identified the centre-back as a target for the Blues.

It’s understood Ajax are demanding a fee of at least £70million for the sought-after Dutchman.

Barcelona have already wrapped up a deal for Ajax’s Frenkie de Jong and it appears the Catalan giants could be lining up a move for his team-mate for club and country, De Ligt.

‘His name is on the table,’ Barca president Bartomeu told SER Radio.

‘Where there is such talent away from Barcelona, we’re always looking at them.

‘It’s a topic that will be discussed in our sports planning which begins in March, with De Jong we felt we had to move quickly because there were many clubs that wanted him.’

Ajax director of football Marc Overmars, who is tipped to become Arsenal’s sporting director, hailed De Ligt’s ‘power’ and ‘mentality’ earlier this week.

Asked if De Ligt could be the next player to leave Ajax, Overmars told AS: ‘I think so. For me, De Ligt can play easily on any of the six best teams in the world right now.

‘He has the power, the mentality, the heart. If I worked at another club, I would like to sign him immediately.

‘We do not need to sell him, we do not need the money, but I know he will go to one of the big clubs [eventually].’


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