Barcelona linked with move for Juventus' Matthijs de Ligt

Max Parsons
Apr 28, 2021, 6:20 PM GMT+1
Matthijs De Ligt in action for Juventus
Matthijs De Ligt in action for Juventus | Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

It is understood that Barcelona are interested in bringing Juventus central defender Matthijs de Ligt to Camp Nou this summer.

The report comes just days after Eric Garcia's switch from Manchester City to La Blaugrana was seemingly confirmed by Pep Guardiola.

But according to Spanish journalist Eduardo Inda, speaking on El Chiringuito (as reported by Sport), Ronald Koeman and Joan Laporta are keen to bring in more reinforcements at the back, and see De Ligt as the preferred option.

The centre-back arrived at Juventus in 2019 after a sensational start to his career at Ajax and has since played 69 times for the Old Lady. This season the Dutchman has had his fair share of niggling injuries but, when fit, has featured in all but two of Juventus' games and has cemented himself as a vital part of Andrea Pirlo's side.

A move to Barcelona would mean a reunion with Koeman, who coached De Ligt as Netherlands manager from 2018 to 2020. The Juve man would also be reunited with Frenkie de Jong, with whom he was part of the Ajax side that reached the Champions League semi-final in 2019.

Dutch Eredivisie"De Graafschap v Ajax"
Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong holding the Eredivisie trophy | VI-Images/Getty Images

The signing of another centre-back would be key for Barcelona, given the problems they have had this season. Injuries to Ronald Araujo, Samuel Umtiti and Gerard Pique have forced young Oscar Mingueza to step up, while De Jong has been asked to fill in at the heart of a back three at times.

While these problems haven't stopped La Blaugrana winning the Cop del Rey and mounting an increasingly promising title charge, they haven't made Koeman's job ideal over the course of the campaign.

Umtiti's long history of injury problems and Pique's age may be factors in the Barcelona boss' desire to bring in more than one central defender. With the risk of some of his back line being absent throughout next season, De Ligt and Garcia could be the solution to keep his side in top shape and continue their progress.