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Report: Man City Leads Arsenal in Chase for Ajax Wonderkid Matthijs De Ligt

Manchester City are leading Arsenal in the race to sign young Dutchman Matthijs De Ligt, according to reports.

Manchester City are leading Arsenal in the race to sign young Dutchman Matthijs De Ligt, but they may have to fork out £50m for the Ajax defender according to the Mirror.

At the age of 18, De Ligt is already a regular starter for Ajax and has been dubbed 'the new Virgil van Dijk' after the Liverpool defender who has played alongside him at international level.

De Ligt has a hunger for first-team football and has reportedly told his agent that he is not keen on a move to Barcelona, fearing that he would not see much game time at the Nou Camp.

He has missed only one Eredivisie match for Ajax this season and has even taken the captain's armband for recent games in the absence of usual skipper Joel Veltman.

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It is clear that Ajax see him as a big part of their future. They know that he will probably move on to bigger things eventually but they are keen to delay that move for as long as possible, hence the eye-watering £50m price tag.

However, in these crazy times where the second-most expensive transfer fee ever was paid for a teenager - Kylian Mbappe - it is not inconceivable that City would be prepared to pay top dollar for De Ligt.

Soon-to-be Premier League champions City are clearly the more attractive proposition as a club at the moment, but if De Ligt is serious about starting regularly then Arsenal may be the better option, as their defence is in dire need of improvement.

English audiences got the chance to size up De Ligt when he played against England during the recent international break. He also started against Portugal and kept Cristiano Ronaldo quiet as the Netherlands won 3-0 in Geneva.