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Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre plays down Matthijs de Ligt speculation

Barcelona vice-president plays down De Ligt speculation
© Reuters
Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre plays down reports that the club are on the verge of signing Matthijs de Ligt and suggests they have no need for a new centre-back.

Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre has distanced the club from reports that they are on the verge of agreeing a deal to sign Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt this summer.

De Ligt has emerged as one of the most sought-after players in world football, having led Ajax to the top of the Eredivisie, the KNVB Beker final and the semi-finals of the Champions League at the age of just 19.

Barcelona have long been regarded as the front-runners for the youngster's signature, although the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Juventus and Bayern Munich are among the other clubs credited with an interest.

De Ligt's agent Mino Raiola is reportedly keen to steer his client away from Barcelona, and Mestre has suggested that the club have no need to strengthen their central defensive options.

"I don't know why they're saying this because [De Ligt] hasn't signed," he is quoted as saying by Sky.

"[Gerard] Pique is evidently one of the best central defenders in the world, if not the best. After him, we have players like [Clement] Lenglet, [Samuel] Umtiti and we've signed a very young player in [Jean-Clair] Todibo.

"The defenders we already have are of the highest level. In De Ligt's case, we'll speak with the sporting director at the end of the season and we'll speak not about De Ligt, but about what they say."

Ajax could wrap up the first leg of their potential treble when they take on Willem II in the final of the KNVB Beker on Sunday.


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Matthijs de Ligt during Ajax training on April 29, 2019
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City37312491226995
2Liverpool37297187226594
3Chelsea37218863392471
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs372311365372870
5Arsenal372071070502067
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd37199965521366
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves37169124744357
8Everton37158145244853
9Leicester CityLeicester37156165148351
10Watford37148155155-450
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham37147164854-649
12Crystal Palace37137174650-446
13Bournemouth37136185365-1245
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle37119173848-1042
15Burnley37117194465-2140
16Southampton37911174464-2038
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3799193456-2236
RCardiff CityCardiff3794243269-3731
RFulham3775253477-4326
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3736282175-5415

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