Ajax sporting director Marc Overmars has confirmed that Barcelona are ahead
Despite driving a very hard bargain during negotiations, Ajax sporting director Marc Overmars has confirmed that Barcelona are the frontrunners for the signature of two in-demand Dutch youngsters, Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong.
The club has been in the running for these two young starlets for a long time, especially Matthijs de Ligt, who broke into the Ajax first-team under former manager Peter Bosz. At times, Barça fell behind the likes of Juventus and Bayern Munich, but have pulled ahead now.
Overmars said, “Barcelona is my favourite, it’s a fantastic club, but there are two other clubs that are very close.
Messi can help, money is not important for them, last year they could have gone with good offers and they decided to stay. They didn’t need me to speak well of Barça because they already know it.”
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Overmars has already rejected quite huge offers for Matthijs de Ligt from the likes of Manchester City, and refused to negotiate for Frenkie de Jong in the last summer transfer window. But now, he is accepting the inevitability in football, the allure of the big clubs.
In fact, the former Dutch international fell victim to the very same trend with Barcelona in his own playing career. After spending three successful seasons at Arsenal, he moved to Barça in the turn of the millennium. Subsequently, his career was destroyed in Catalonia due to a knee injury.
Till now, he has been able to prevent the same from happening to De Jong and De Ligt, whose growth he has personally witnessed at Ajax after their graduation from De Toemkoest. But he knows that it is going to happen whether he likes it or not.
As for Éric Abidal, he should be happy considering that Frenkie de Jong is among his primary targets. Also, the club needs to sign a replacement for Thomas Vermaelen, and Matthijs de Ligt would be the ideal option.