Arsenal are reportedly in a ‘bidding war’ with Tottenham, Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Barcelona for Ajax’s 18-year-old centreback, Matthijs de Ligt.
According to a report in today’s Scotsman, the youngest player to feature for the Netherlands since the 1930’s could cost around £50m.
Speaking about the speculation regarding his future, de Ligt said, “I am going to make a decision with my head, not based on money offers.”
De ligt has 36 appearances for Ajax this season, netting three goals and an assist. He is also the second youngest goalscorer for his country. Only Clarence Seedorf was younger.
Under contract until 2021 after signing a new deal at the end of 2016, Ajax also have an option for an additional year should he remain at the club until then.
That, however, seems highly unlikely and while the player may not be swayed by money, Ajax most likely will be.
Writing in March, the Guardian called de Ligt one of the best Dutch talents to keep an eye. They said, “Matthijs de Ligt 18 Ajax. It is no mean feat to be the best centre-back in your league and your club captain; even more so at 18.
“The speed of De Ligt’s rise over the past year and his consistency are almost frightening.”
Sven Mislintat wants Arsenal to sign a centre-back as one of four positions he’s looking to strengthen this summer according to reports, but who are the available options?
We recently covered reports of the four areas Arsenal’s new head of recruitment wants to strengthen over the summer, which you can check out here.
One of these areas was in the back line, as the club look to replace and reinforce a group that are mostly ageing, injury prone, retiring or inexperienced.
So who could the club look to target this summer? Let’s take a look at 7 options…