Report: Barcelona Hope to Sign Matthijs de Ligt in a Month After €60M Offer

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2019

Matthijs de Ligt of Ajax during the Dutch Eredivisie match between Ajax Amsterdam and PEC Zwolle at the Johan Cruijff Arena on March 13, 2019 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
VI-Images/Getty Images

Barcelona have reportedly made a €60 million offer to sign Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt and are hoping to have the deal completed inside a month. 

According to Sport, Barca have put forward that initial offer, which will also include add-ons, along with a five-year deal for the player.

"Sources close to the negotiation say the transfer is on track and the club are very optimistic" of securing his signature ahead of European rivals Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich.

B/R Football @brfootball

Barcelona have reportedly bid €60m for Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt, according to @Sport_EN https://t.co/bm4vxHtLlm

Sport's Lluis Miguelsanz also reported on a potential collaborative relationship between Barca and Ajax, one that will give the Catalan club "priority" over the Dutch club's talented youngsters and in turn will see the Blaugrana's younger players head in the opposite direction on loan. 

Barcelona have already sealed the capture of De Ligt's team-mate Frenkie de Jong, who will arrive at the Camp Nou this summer.

Ajax director of football Marc Overmars played for Barcelona, and he was pictured speaking to Barca counterpart Eric Abidal at the UEFA Champions League draw last Friday:

AFC Ajax @AFCAjax

Talking football...🗯 @AFCAjax 🤝 @FCBarcelona #UCLdraw https://t.co/SA7tJijDDp

In the last round of Europe's premier club competition, De Ligt led Ajax to a memorable 4-1 victory over Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu to send them through to the quarter-finals with a 5-3 aggregate scoreline.

As football analyst Dave O'Brien illustrated, De Ligt played an important role in the win:

Statman Dave @StatmanDave

Matthijs de Ligt made 10 ball recoveries vs. Real Madrid, more than any other player on the pitch. A captain’s performance.👏👏👏 https://t.co/CVTMi87HWv

Dutch football writer Sjors van Veen is an admirer of the teenager:

Sjors van Veen @SjorsvVeen

A 17-year-old and 19-year-old Matthijs de Ligt after reaching European success. Simply can't describe how good/likable this guy is. So mature for his age, both mentally as physically, as on and off the pitch. The club that signs him is defensively settled for years to come. https://t.co/epX5NDDIJf

At age 19, he already has the captain's armband and has made 104 appearances for Ajax, as well as earning 13 caps for the Netherlands.

With Ajax adopting many of the same philosophies as Barcelona, academy product De Ligt is almost tailor-made for the Catalan club.

A composed presence at the back, he excels in bringing the ball out from defence and linking play with their midfield.

Barca stalwart Gerard Pique is now 32 and will soon be entering the twilight of his career at the club.

As far as leading candidates to replace him, there are perhaps none better suited than De Ligt, so he'd be an excellent acquisition if they can secure his signature.