Groningen Director Hans Nijland Confirms Barcelona's Interest in Ludovit Reis

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistApril 23, 2019

Ludovit Reis of FC Groningen during the Dutch Eredivisie match between FC Groningen and Ajax Amsterdam at Hitachi Capital Mobility stadium on April 20, 2019 in Groningen, The Netherlands(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
VI-Images/Getty Images

FC Groningen executive director Hans Nijland has confirmed Barcelona are interested in signing 18-year-old midfielder Ludovit Reis. 

Nijland told Fox Sports (h/t EFE, via Marca) the clubs have twice held talks about the teenager, most recently after Barca's director of youth football Jose Mari Bakero led a delegation to the Netherlands.

He also said "we're seriously considering the possibility that he leaves for Barcelona next season."

On reports of a €2.5 million fee, the director told RTV Noord (h/t EFE, via AS):

"That is not a realistic amount, we're not going to let any player go on the cheap. As yet there is no agreement, but we are in genuine talks.

"I'm not going to discuss the amounts that were mentioned during negotiations, but I have heard that some people are talking about €12 million or €14 million; this is also not true."

The youngster has been a regular for the Dutch club this season, making 24 starts from 27 Eredivisie appearances. Groningen have lost all four of the matches in which he hasn't featured.

Football Oranje offered a profile of the player:

Dutch football writer Sjors van Veen thinks Ajax should be taking a look at the player as well:

Ajax would be able to offer a clearer path to first-team football, as it's reported Reis would join Barcelona B upon a move to the Camp Nou.

Barca added Arthur to their ranks last summer from Gremio and have already tied up a deal for Ajax starlet Frenkie de Jong to join them at the end of the season, so there would be little scope for Reis to break through in the immediate future.

However, Ivan Rakitic turned 31 in March, Sergio Busquets is 31 in July and Arturo Vidal will be 32 in May.

The additions of Arthur (22) and De Jong (21) will help Barcelona's transition to a new generation of midfielders in the coming years. Having talented youngsters like Reis coming through behind them will continue that process.

Reis' primary concern should be what's best for his development, but if the club want to take the money it may not be down to him to decide.

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