Matthijs de Ligt wants to join Barcelona.

That has been made clear repeatedly by the Spanish media over a period of months.

But he wants more money than what was agreed earlier this year, and Barca haven’t yet budged. The likeliest scenario here is that both sides compromise and the defender joins Frenkie de Jong at the Camp Nou.

But until everything is done, and with both parties holding firm, there’s always the chance of him moving elsewhere.

Manchester United have been the alternative most linked over the past week or so, with it being claimed they’ve made a financial offer which Barca won’t match.

These claims have been carried by both Sport and Mundo Deportivo, and jumped upon by every ITK wanting some attention.

On Saturday, there’s nothing from Sport. Mundo Deportivo do have two mentions.

First Miguel Rico stated: ‘Manchester United use their relationship with Van der Sar, general manager of Ajax and former club goalkeeper, to try to convince De Ligt that his best destination is Old Trafford’

That has been suggested elsewhere, but it doesn’t feel like it has a lot in it. If Edwin van der Sar gives United a contact at Ajax, then it’s nothing more than what Barcelona will have, so there’s no advantage.

The former goalkeeper isn’t sporting director, that’s Marc Overmars, who used to play for Barca. The De Jong transfer has recently been negotiated, and United obviously have contacts from Daley Blind’s relatively recent return.

Ajax aren’t the ones to convince here. They have their price of around €75m and that’s it, the decision will be De Ligt’s.

Does the defender seem the type of person to have his opinion swayed by anyone? No.

Will he make his mind up based on what Overmars and Van der Sar tell him? No.

Mundo’s second mention comes from Roger Torello. He says De Ligt ‘remains unclear about his future’. Once again it’s claimed Barca are the player’s first choice, and it’s stated he has approaches from Manchester United, Juventus, Bayern and PSG.

He’s being updated daily by Mino Raiola, and still hasn’t plumped for Barca.

Over on Twitter, Francesc Aguilar, also from Mundo, had a bit of a snipe at people suggesting De Ligt ‘liking’ an Instagram image from Rio Ferdinand means something.

He said the footballer has always had ‘sympathy’ for the Red Devils, but: ‘Everything remains the same, Barca on pole’

Not much is going on, and there could be another reason for that. Barcelona’s wage bill is far higher than would make financial sense, and in order to fund further signings this summer they need to sell.

There’s a whole list of possibilities, and shifting a few players out would give more wriggle room. Samuel Umtiti could potentially be one of the players leaving, and he signed a big new contract last year. The Frenchman’s exit would provide both space and some money for the De Ligt operation.

Manchester United may well be being used for media drama, in that case there would have been no offer and it would all be make-believe.

They may be being used to pressure Barca. That could also mean the offer doesn’t exist, because it wouldn’t stop Raiola, would it.

Should the offer exist, it’s clearly not first choice for De Ligt, but there’s no harm in giving it a go.

The best hope for the English club is Barca struggling to sell, signing Antoine Griezmann and blowing their wage budget into tiny little pieces, and then finding it difficult to add the Dutchman.

Perhaps interestingly, the Dutch media haven’t even dipped their toe in the water on this.