Liverpool handed a major boost to sign Barcelona’s long term target

Liverpool have been handed a major boost to sign Ajax captain Mathijs De Ligt after Barcelona vice-president revealed the club have not made a bid for the 19-year-old.  The Reds are rumoured to be interested in a move for the Dutchman, but looked like they would face competition from Barcelona for his signature.

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However, Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre has revealed the club are nowhere near a deal for de Ligt , and played down reports they would be attempting to sign him. Speaking to Sky, Mestre said: “I don’t know why they’re saying this [that a deal is complete] because [De Ligt] hasn’t signed. “[Gerard] Pique is evidently one of the best central defenders in the world, if not the best. 

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“After him, we have players like [Clement] Lenglet, [Samuel] Umtiti and we’ve signed a very young player in [Jean-Clair] Todibo.  “The defenders we already have are of the highest level. “In De Ligt’s case, we’ll speak with the sporting director at the end of the season and we’ll speak not about De Ligt, but about what they say.”

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Mestre’s comments suggest the Catalan club are not in the market for a new central defender, which would leave the door open for Liverpool to swoop for de Ligt.  It was thought that de Ligt would follow Ajax teammate Frenkie de Jong to Spain when he moves to Barca this summer.

However a switch to Liverpool could now be on the cards, where de Ligt would join up with international teammates Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum. The 19-year-old has produced a number of impressive displays this season, as Ajax top the Dutch league and have reached the last four of the Champions League.

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De Ligt could yet face either of the sides this season, providing Ajax can build on their 1-0 first-leg lead over Tottenham to reach the Champions League final. Should Ajax progress, they will face the winners of the other semi-final between Barca and Liverpool, with the Spanish club currently holding a 3-0 lead from the opening leg.

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Meanwhile, according to Marca, Marc Cucurella will be packing his bags at the end of the season in order to rejoin Barcelona from Eibar.Eibar are expected to trigger the purchase option in his loan deal of around one million euros, but the Catalans have decided that they will then take advantage of a repurchase option to take him back to the Camp Nou for 4m euros.

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Cucurella has been one of the standout stars in LaLiga Santander this season after settling into life at Ipurua relatively quickly. Impressive performances early on against Alaves and Real Madrid grabbed attention from all over Spain and he has delivered consistently since.

The youngster has played 30 games this season, with 28 of those coming in LaLiga Santander, and during these times he has contributed with a goal and two assists. Ernesto Valverde will ultimately have the last word on what lies ahead for the player and he has attracted interest from Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Monchengladbach and AC Milan.