Barcelona and Juventus' transfer talks over Matthijs de Ligt come to light

Barcelona have long had transfer interest in Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt.


Posted Monday, May 10, 2021 by Express.co.uk

Barcelona reportedly talked with Juventus over the potential signing of Matthijs de Ligt. However, the Old Lady are in no mood to sell the Netherlands international. De Ligt nearly moved to the Nou Camp back in the summer of 2019, only to end up at the Allianz Stadium instead.

Barcelona wanted to sign De Ligt in 2019, believing the Dutchman would be the perfect long-term replacement for Gerard Pique.

They'd seen him sparkle at Ajax, helping his side reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.

But while Barcelona pushed hard to sign De Ligt, the Netherlands international ended up moving to Italy with Juventus instead.

He's been a good asset for the club in the time since and, now, AS claim Barcelona have revived their interest.

It's said that, during recent discussions over the European Super League, De Ligt's name came up in negotiations.

Barcelona and Juventus' transfer talks over Matthijs de Ligt come to light
Barcelona have transfer interest in Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt

Barcelona wanted to test the waters with an enquiry - and were eventually knocked back.

Juventus made it clear they had no plans to sell De Ligt, regardless of what happens with the future of Andrea Pirlo.

Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman previously managed his compatriot at international level and with Pique entering the twilight years of his career, knows he needs a replacement.

But it won't be De Ligt, especially given how he's just two years into a five-year contract at the club.

That's a blow to Barcelona, who have already missed out on the signing of David Alaba.

Alaba was on their radar after he announced he'd be leaving Bayern Munich on a free transfer but the Austria international ended up agreeing to join Real Madrid instead.

Barcelona could sell Samuel Umtiti at the end of the season, with the France international struggling for fitness.

And Clement Lenglet may also be cut loose having failed to achieve consistency under Koeman this season.

Meanwhile, speaking last year, De Ligt's agent Mino Raiola opened up on the decision to move to Juventus instead of Barcelona.

"Barca thought: ‘[Frenkie] de Jong's coming, [so De Ligt] will arrive as well.'

"They treated him like a piece of cheese, as we say.

"But the reasons they wanted him there were wrong...did they believe a player like [Gerard] Pique was going to leave his spot in the team?

"In Holland, they almost believe Barça are a Dutch club, not a foreign club, they saw this transfer almost as sacrilege, they thought he had to go there.

"De Ligt is not interested in money, he just wants to play. Juve wanted him one year ago.

"And [De Ligt] told me: ‘Mino, I want to go the Harvard of defending." So that's why we chose Juve, to graduate.'"

De Ligt isn't the only player on Barcelona's radar ahead of the summer.

They're hopeful of landing Memphis Depay, who is poised to leave Lyon for a new challenge when the transfer window reopens.

Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum is also in their sights, with the player's time at Anfield currently winding down.

And Eric Garcia is another target, especially given the fact he's set to leave Manchester City on a free transfer.

Erling Haaland is also admired but, with Barcelona financially impacted by the coronavirus crisis, a deal for the Borussia Dortmund star seems unlikely.



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