Barcelona are reportedly worried as a Premier League giant inches towards a potential move for their top defensive target.
The highly-rated star has already been attracting attention ever since he made his debut for his current side at the tender age of 16. However, since then, the 18-year-old has established himself as a key first-team player and someone the club cannot do without. But with Samuel Umtiti’s future in serious doubt, Barcelona are looking for a potential replacement and have thus shortlisted the likes of Stefan de Viij, Clement Lenglet, and Matthijs de Ligt.
The Catalan giants have made the 18 years De Ligt their top target for the summer, and given Ligt’s talent, it’s no surprise why. However, that has also opened up the Ajax star to the world with the biggest of the big European clubs after his signature. It’s reported that after Barcelona made their interest clear, the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Bayern Munich also started scouting the Ajax youngster.
But it’s Arsenal’s interest in Matthijs de Ligt that has Barcelona afraid with the Gunners looking for a long-term replacement for Laurent Koscielny. But Barcelona on the other hand, see the 18-year-old has the perfect replacement for Gerard Pique and have thus stepped up their pursuit of the center-back. The Catalan giants have already brought in one center-back in Yerry Mina during the winter window, but also lost Javier Mascherano to the Chinese Super League.
Matthijs de Ligt during Netherlands 3-0 Portugal
95.6 passing accuracy
2 key passes
1 Cristiano Ronaldo in his pocket.
An 18-year-old superstar! pic.twitter.com/wWurReVzY9
— Dutch Football (@FootballOranje_) March 26, 2018
Despite that, and with Samuel Umitit’s future in serious doubt the club are worried that Arsenal’s interest may pique Matthijs de Ligt’s interest in another potential challenge for him. The 18-year-old recently made his debut for the Netherlands and impressed, even going to get two assists and put up a 95% passing accuracy, a stunning stat for an 18-year-old.
Matthijs de Ligt is one for the future and given that the Ajax star has already made 56 appearances scoring 6 goals for the Dutch giants by the age of 18 is simply incredible. But even then with Barcelona serious courting him, few give Arsenal a chance in what has clearly been defined as the battle between David and Goliath.