Despite appearing to be the front-runners for the signature of Matthijs de Ligt, Barcelona face a number of hurdles to overcome in order to complete the deal - the latest being their current wage bill.
Ajax's 19-year-old captain has become a target for pretty much every major club across the continent following his stellar 2018/19 campaign. The central defender captained his club to a league and cup double, as well as being seconds away from reaching the Champions League final.
While heading to the front of the queue in recent weeks in terms of signing the Dutch starlet,
AS have reported that Barcelona's current wage bill has seen discussions over a move to Camp Nou stall.
The Spanish media outlet had previously reported that Barcelona pay more than any other club in world football on annual salaries, including Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, with €500m going on players wages.
Matthijs de Ligt has reportedly demanded a guaranteed starting place and more money to join Barcelona as offers for the Ajax captain pile up from across Europe: https://t.co/wB1thzYUPw pic.twitter.com/VlCDbp1k8g— AS English (@English_AS) May 20, 2019
It's meant that the club cannot go overboard in terms of what they can offer the teenager financially, with their only major bargaining tool now a guaranteed place in the first team.
That would be a decision likely to irk two of Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet, although it's either that for Barca or risk losing De Ligt to a major European rival. The likes of Bayern Munich, Juventus and Manchester United have been linked with the Dutch international and are able to match his financial demands.
Barca's crippling wage bill isn't the only thing holding up the deal, as his 'super agent' Mino Raiola is demanding a commission of between €8m-€10m, with the Catalan side refusing to pay the extortionate demand at present.