Luka Jovic and Matthijs de Ligt edge closer and closer to Barcelona, who prioritize both players very highly, and it’s not unlikely that both players will be wearing Blaugrana shirts at the Camp Nou next season, as the business end of the season approaches.
Many players have come through the ranks to Barcelona, and many players have been targeted by top tier European clubs, but not many players can brag with having as much attention as Ajax’ 19 year-old captain and star defender, Matthijs de Ligt, and the clinical Eintracht Frankfurt-forward, the Serbian Luka Jovic.
Matthijs de Ligt has been rumored to join the Club since the summer, and negotiations between Barcelona and his best friend, Frenkie de Jong, took a turn throughout the season, before the midfielder snubbed Paris Saint-Germain to join Barça in the final days of the January transfer window. Ever since then, the talk has been about Matthijs de Ligt, who’s edged closer to joining for every passing day.
The Amsterdam meeting
One of the key points for the de Jong transfer was club president Josep Bartomeu’s personal involvement in sealing the deal, as confirmed by Ajax’ CEO, Marc Overmars, and with the deal of de Ligt, he’s taking a similar approach as the deal nears its finalization.
Having been invited to the UEFA assembly for the ‘new Champions League’ of 2024, which takes place in Amsterdam, Bartomeu has brought the Club’s CEO, Óscar Grau alongside him, with the intention of meeting with Ajax – a meeting that could prove vital to how the transfer plays out, as it nears the finalization phase. This has been confirmed by various media outlets close to the Club, as well as the renowned, reliable Oriol Domènech on Club de La Mitjanit late Monday.
Matthijs de Ligt definitely wants Barcelona, has his heart set on the move despite the offers thrown his way from the likes of Juventus, and Barcelona’s moves for the deal lately definitely indicates the same. Ajax’ CEO, Overmars, has also said that he’d personally prefer Barcelona as de Ligt and de Jong’s destination, and with the latter already bound, the former’s changing is merely a matter of time.
Moreover, Barcelona and Ajax are reportedly working for a collaborative deal, which would give Barcelona the upper hand in getting breakthrough talents at Ajax, whereas Ajax would become a destination for youth players at Barcelona looking for first team playing time.
The collaboration was first proposed during the Frenkie de Jong negotiations, but has become more advanced through the de Ligt deal, and it wouldn’t be surprising if both deals were struck simultaneously and announced by the club, sooner rather than later.
Luka Jovic – a forward for the future?
As for Luka Jovic, the forward has been approached by several top flight clubs around Europe with Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, and Barcelona being among his suitors.
According to Mundo Deportivo’s Miguel Rico, Bayern have submitted a big offer of 54 million Euros to Eintracht Frankfurt for the forward, but considering that Jovic wants to leave the Bundesliga this coming summer, Barcelona remain unfazed by the Bundesliga club’s offer, as Barça view him a priority, and he himself also views Barça the same.
With Luis Suárez’ age undoubtedly playing a role in his form and agility, Barcelona will definitely look to strengthen the forward line, and Luka Jovic is the frontrunner on a shortlist that previously had Maxi Gómez on, before the latter being discarded in favor of the Serbian forward.
Luka Jovic’ deal seems like a tough deal to strike, but the player seems keen on joining the Catalan club, and given Suárez’ age, it wouldn’t be surprising if he got a somewhat primary role at the Camp Nou, before ultimately taking over when Suárez’ career nears its end.
Barcelona’s next league game is against RCD Espanyol on Saturday at the Camp Nou. The game kicks off at 4:15PM Central European Time.