Barcelona president Joan Laporta ‘dreams of signing Matthijs de Ligt with Catalan club keen to strengthen centre-back position further with Juventus star’ after sealing free transfer for Eric Garcia
- Matthijs de Ligt opted to join Juventus instead of Barcelona when leaving Ajax
- But now Joan Laporta is reportedly keen to renew the Catalan club’s interest
- France’s Ousmane Dembele or Antoine Griezmann could be offered in exchange
- But Massimiliano Allegri is keen to retain the Dutchman’s services for 2021-22
Barcelona president Joan Laporta is incredibly keen to sign Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt this summer, according to reports in France.
The Holland defender joined the Serie A giants instead of long-term admirers Barcelona in a £67.8million deal from Ajax in 2019.
But now Le10 Sport claim the Catalan giants will renew their interest in a bid to unite the 21-year-old with his international team-mate Frenkie de Jong at Camp Nou.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta is keen to sign Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt this summer, according to reports in France
The Catalan club are keen to unite the 21-year-old with Holland team-mate Frenkie de Jong (R)
The report cites Spanish media reports that Barcelona could look to offer France forwards Antoine Griezmann or Ousmane Dembele in a direct swap deal, thought Italian reports claim Juventus are not keen on an exchange.
Persuading the Italian giants appears to be a daunting task, with La Gazzetta dello Sport reporting de Ligt remains a fundamental part of returning boss Massimiliano Allegri’s plans for the 2021-22 season alongside Leonardo Bonucci.
De Ligt made 36 appearances across all competitions for Juventus last season as the Turin-based club endured an underwhelming season as they surrendered their nine-year hold on the Scudetto to Inter Milan.
They also suffered a shock Champions League round of 16 exit at the hands of Porto, but the club restored some pride by winning the Coppa Italia and Italian Super Cup.
Reports in Spain claim Barcelona would look for a direct swap with either Ousmane Dembele (left) or Antoine Griezmann (right)
De Ligt is currently away with Holland at Euro 2020 but missed their entertaining 3-2 victory against Ukraine on Sunday evening with a groin injury.
Reports of Griezmann and Dembele being prepared as makeweights come as no surprise after claims earlier in the week that the duo are among 18 players Barcelona are prepared to let go this summer.
The Catalan club have made no secret of their financial struggles, which are though to amount to around £862m and have only been exacerbated by the global coronavirus pandemic.
But Max Allegri (R) is keen to keep de Ligt and partner him with Leonardo Bonucci (L) next term
Goal claimed the pair, alongside Brazil star Philippe Coutinho – who has been linked with a shock move to Leicester – as well as long-serving midfielder Sergio Busquets are among the stars they would listen to offers for.
Samuel Umtiti is another who could be available, while the departure of Miralem Pjanic, who joined just last summer, seems almost an inevitability.
Barcelona have however strengthened their squad ahead of the new season, with striker Sergio Aguero and defender Eric Garcia joining on free transfers after leaving Manchester City.
The club also triggered a clause in Emerson Royal’s Real Betis contract to sign the defender permanently, but Ronald Koeman did miss out on bringing Georginio Wijnaldum after he opted to sign for Paris Saint-Germain on a free instead.
Barcelona have already strengthened their defence by signing Eric Garcia on a free transfer