Barcelona are reportedly set to give up on signing Ajax wonderkid Matthijs de Ligt, gifting the advantage to Manchester City and Juventus in the race for the Dutchman's signature.
Ajax teammate Frenkie de Jong agreed a deal worth over £75m to move to the Camp Nou in January, and it is widely expected that de Ligt will soon follow him out the exit door at the club. The 19-year-old will likely command a similar fee, but many of Europe's biggest sides remain keen.
However, according to the Daily Mail, Barcelona are no longer interested. The club took out a loan of £123m to finance the signings of de Jong and a new striker, and Barcelona have now accepted that they simply will not be able to compete financially for de Ligt's signature.
Each team will certainly be keen to see Barcelona drop out of the running, with de Ligt widely believed to have his heart set on a move to the Catalan giants.
After securing the signing of 19-year-old Jean-Clair Todibo during the January transfer window, Barcelona are now satisfied with their defensive options going forward.
The Frenchman joins Clement Lenglet, Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti as the club's long-term options, with both Thomas Vermaelen and Jeison Murillo set to leave the club in the summer.
Ernesto Valverde will be pleased to welcome Umtiti back to training. The 25-year-old has been out of action since November after suffering a knee injury, but has now entered the final stages of his recovery and is even pushing for an appearance against Real Valladolid on Saturday.
However, Mundo Deportivo claim that the club are still uncertain about Umtiti's fitness. Should he encounter more problems with his knee, he may be required to undergo surgery, which would keep him out of action for the foreseeable future.
Should this prove to be the case, Barcelona could opt to reignite their interest in de Ligt. They are confident that, should they make an offer, they would have no difficulties in convincing de Ligt to join the club, but they will only do so if Umtiti faces further treatment of his injury.