Former Ajax manager Peter Bosz believes Matthijs de Ligt "would fit perfectly" at Manchester City as a replacement for Vincent Kompany.
De Ligt, 19, is widely expected to leave Ajax this summer after a remarkable season in which the Amsterdam outfit won a domestic double and reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League.
According to Sky Sports, Barcelona are strong favourites to sign the centre-back, having already sealed the signing of team-mate Frenkie de Jong, while Liverpool and Manchester United have also been linked with the Ajax captain.
The Red Devils are "one of the top contenders" to sign him. Sport reported United have tabled a "significantly improved" offer that they hope will persuade the player to say yes (h/t Naveen Ullal of Sport Wtiness).
But Bayern Leverkusen manager Bosz, who started De Ligt in the 2017 UEFA Europa League final, believes City would be the ideal destination for the teenager given Kompany is leaving, per Jake Polden in the Mirror:
"Normally I would say to a 19-year-old boy who has had two years of professional football: Patience, it will come, take two more years of experience with Ajax. In the Eredivisie, in the Champions League. Only, I think Matthijs is the exception that confirms the rule. That he is already ready for that step. But what is the best step? In my eyes the club where you can play.
"If I were Manchester City, I would get him immediately. Vincent Kompany is leaving, and I don't think Nicolas Otamendi is good enough. It would fit perfectly with Laporte. He will play even better with Matthijs next to him, I am convinced of that.
"I also hear Barcelona everywhere, but there you have to deal with Gerard Pique. That would mean, if Samuel Umtiti did indeed leave, that he had to come play centrally in the left. That doesn't have to be a problem, because I think Matthijs can play the left as well as the right in the centre as easily."
Kompany, 33, is leaving City this summer to become player-manager of boyhood club Anderlecht.
He is a big name to replace at City given he was club captain and was at the Etihad Stadium since 2008.
The Belgium international has not necessarily been a guaranteed starter under manager Pep Guardiola in the past three seasons—he started only 13 matches as City won the Premier League in 2018-19.
But was influential at the club, and City need to find a replacement.
As well as being a remarkably talented centre-back, De Ligt has also proved himself to be a fine leader at Ajax, captaining the club impressively despite his youth:
He looks to have all the qualities to be able to succeed Kompany at City, and working with Guardiola will likely be a big draw for the Netherlands international.
However, Barcelona is likely a similarly attractive destination. As Bosz noted, Pique is the senior centre-back at the Camp Nou.
But the Spaniard is 32 and is not going to stay at Barca forever.
So if City want to sign De Ligt as Kompany's replacement and a potential future captain, they will likely have to go up against the Catalan giants.