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12th Apr 2019

Matthijs De Ligt will join either Barcelona or Bayern Munich, says Ajax coach

Simon Lloyd

The 19-year-old is expected to be one of the biggest transfers of the summer

Erik Ten Hag has confirmed what pretty much everyone already knew: Matthijs De Ligt will leave Ajax this summer.

Still just 19 years of age, the defender has long been tipped for a big money move with several of Europe’s most prestigious clubs said to be casting admiring glances in his direction.

Now, judging by Ajax’s current boss’s latest comments, it seems to be a two-horse race for his signature.

“There is zero chance that De Ligt will continue at Ajax,” Ten Hag said during an interview with German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. “There are too many clubs interested in him. He will leave us this summer, but I don’t know if he will go to Bayern or Barcelona.”

De Ligt

News that these two clubs are vying for his signature is no great surprise.

De Ligt has heavily been linked with a move to Barca, who have already signed Ajax teammate Frenkie De Jong ahead of next season. The fact the LaLiga champions chose to conclude the De Jong deal so early hasn’t halted speculation that they might also return for De Ligt in the summer.

Bayern’s interest is also understandable. Though now back on course to retain their Bundesliga title, their meek Champions League exit to Liverpool in the last 16 stage has been viewed by many as evidence that investment is needed in their squad in time for 2019/2020.

Though Ten Hag believes Barca and Bayern lead the way, De Ligt, who is expected to feature for the Netherlands in this summer’s Nations League finals, will have plenty of other options.

His accomplished performances against Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter finals might have turned heads at the Bernabeu, whereas Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and several English clubs are also thought to be keen on signing him.