Unai Emery will target Matthijs de Ligt in January, according to Spanish journalist Kike Marin, but it won’t be easy to convince Ajax to sell.

Speaking on Twitter in response to an article about Emery admitting he’s looking to strengthen the defence in January, Marin responded “Matthijs de Ligt, but [it] is very very difficult!”

For the first half of 2018, Marin seemed to be becoming a pretty reliable source of Arsenal news. He confirmed Arsenal’s interest in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang long before the announcement, and also named Bernd Leno as a summer transfer priority, as well as calling that Unai Emery would join as manager.

However, his reliability has gone a bit downhill since then. Over the summer he was fairly insistent that Arsenal were close to Ever Banega, but it never happened. He also claimed Arsenal had offered €100m for Ousmane Dembele of Barcelona, which David Ornstein later denied.

The El Confidencial journalist has been pretty consistent with his insistence that Arsenal are interested in de Ligt though. Back in May, he responded to a report claiming “Manchester City, Tottenham, Barcelona and Bayern Munich” wanted to sign the defender by saying simply “and Arsenal too”.

At just 19 years old, de Ligt is already captain of the Ajax team, and he’s played pretty much every minute of their league and European campaigns this season.

In fact, the only Eredivisie match de Ligt missed was the only one his team lost. In the four matches prior to that 3-0 defeat and the five matches afterwards, Ajax didn’t concede a single goal.

No wonder the defender is held in such high regard, even helping the Dutch side to remain undefeated through the Champions League group stages. The problem is he’s unlikely to want to leave now for the Europa League when he’s already in the knockout stages of Europe’s top tier competition.

We’ll see if there’s anything Unai Emery can do to turn his head.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.