Barcelona want to rival Borussia Dortmund for the signature of talented Ajax defender Mathhijs de Ligt, according to Spanish reports.

By 90Min
September 27, 2017

Barcelona want to rival Borussia Dortmund for the signature of talented Ajax defender Mathhijs de Ligt, according to Spanish reports.

Mundo Deportivo has installed the Bundesliga side as favourites to bag the central defender, but Barca are hot on their heels as they look for fresh options at the back for manager Ernesto Valverde.

De Ligt worked with current Dortmund manager Peter Bosz last term and, due to the pair's good working relationship in Amsterdam, would likely favour a reunion with his former gaffer if the chance to do so arose.

However, the 18-year-old could be tempted to forego that switch and join La Blaugrana instead if he was promised regular game time in the senior team at Camp Nou.

Barcelona are hoping to utilise Ajax's sporting director and former star Marc Overmars to smooth over talks between the two clubs in a bid to snatch De Ligt from under Dortmund's nose.

Valverde can currently call upon Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano, Thomas Vermaelen and Samuel Umtiti as centre-back options but, with three of those 30 years of age or older, is on the lookout for fresh blood in his defence.

Whether the Catalan giants will be successful in their alleged pursuit is up for debate, but De Ligt will certainly have a hard time deciding whether to reunite with Bosz in Germany or join one of the biggest clubs in the world to further his development.

De Ligt, who has also attracted interest from Premier League sides, was only handed his senior debut by Bosz last October but has taken to senior football well over the past 12 months.

The Ajax academy product has featured 33 times for his team's senior side - 10 of which have already come this term - and notched his maiden strike in the 4-1 victory over Heracles in February.

His performances for Ajax led to a first call-up to the senior Netherlands national side in the 2-0 defeat to Bulgaria back in March and, with that appearance, De Ligt became one of the youngest players ever to make his senior bow for Oranje at 17 years and 225 days.

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