Matthijs De Ligt Wants Regular Football, Not Concerned About Money, Competition

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJune 11, 2019

GUIMARAES, PORTUGAL - JUNE 6:  Matthijs de Ligt of Netherlands and Ajax in action during the UEFA Nations League Semi-Final match between Netherlands and England at Estadio D. Afonso Henriques on June 6, 2019 in Guimaraes, Portugal. (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)
Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt said regular football will be his priority rather than money as he chooses his next destination, but he is not concerned about the competition for places he might face at Barcelona.

The Catalan giants have been heavily linked with the Dutchman, who has also attracted interest from the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United.

De Ligt is set to make a decision on his future now that he is on holiday, and he told Mundo Deportivo in an interview published on Tuesday (h/t Goal's Ben Spratt): "For me, the most important thing is to know that in the team where I go I can have prominence and play many games. I do not know when I'll have it resolved, but I'm going to take my time."

On reports that he might be better rewarded financially outside of Barca, he said: "Money is not the problem."

He is not worried about having to share playing time with Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet, though: "Of course Barca has great defenders, but the competition is not something that scares me. It is logical and normal that in a great club such as Barca there is competition."

De Ligt was further asked why he had not yet made a decision if he is not concerned about competing with them for minutes: "Because maybe it's not the right time yet, it's something I have to think about and decide during my vacations, nothing more."

Per Reuters' Simon Evans, De Ligt was whether he would be joining Juventus by Cristiano Ronaldo after Portugal's 1-0 win over the Netherlands in the UEFA Nations League final:

Simon Evans @sgevans

Cheeky Ronaldo approached De Ligt at the end of the game and asked him if he was moving to Juventus. De Ligt says he is going on holiday first and hasn't made his mind up about any move to anywhere yet. https://t.co/Lpt9XOTnP4

Fellow Ajax team-mate Frenkie de Jong, meanwhile, has publicly welcomed the idea of De Ligt joining him at the Camp Nou this summer, but the defender is not listening to such pleas.

"Of course it would be nice [to be reunited with De Jong], but I must also look at what is best for me," he said. "I do not pay attention to anyone, I have to choose my own path."

As with De Jong, Barca would seem the most natural fit of De Ligt's available options thanks to his impressive technical ability.

Football.London's Greg Johnson does not want to see the 19-year-old prodigy join PSG instead:

Greg Johnson @gregianjohnson

De Ligt to PSG would be such a waste.

Although any of the clubs interested in him could make use of his talent, Barcelona's passing style would perhaps give him the best platform on which he can reach his considerable potential.

Game time at Barcelona would be most at a premium of his likely suitors, though.

He's a significant upgrade on perhaps all of United and PSG's centre-back options, but Pique, Lenglet and Umtiti have all been excellent for the Blaugrana.

However, Pique is now 32, and Umtiti has missed 48 matches through injury in his three seasons at the Camp Nou.

There's scope to carve out a key role there, particularly for a player of De Ligt's ability.