Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu confirmed his side’s interest in signing Matthijs de Ligt in February, less than a month after agreeing a deal with Ajax for his teammate Frenkie de Jong.

The defender is a priority target for the La Liga winners in the summer and the front page of Sport reads ‘De Ligt final assault’.

It’s claimed that three months ago, Barcelona had regular contacts with the 19-year-old, who then decided to make a switch to the Camp Nou.

He was clear his future talks should not have an impact on his club’s ambition to win trophies this season, which is why the teenager delayed confirming things.

During this period, the Netherlands international further impressed as Ajax eliminated Real Madrid and Juventus from the Champions League knockout stages.

De Ligt’s environment believes the player’s price has increased after these performances and cannot agree to the same deal they had in February.

For this reason, Barcelona’s negotiations for the Dutchman have been ‘complicated’ and if there was optimism present a few weeks ago, now ‘sensations are somewhat more alarming’.

That doesn’t mean Ernesto Valverde’s side will not make an effort for the Dutchman, instead they will take a step forward to secure his services.

After initially given up on signing De Ligt, the likes of Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus have now returned to the fray and some of the proposals he’s received are way above the market price.

Based on the current situation, Sport claims the player and his environment have decided to wait because the passage of time suits their interests.

Bartomeu got involved to help Barcelona sign De Jong in January and a similar scenario may arise in the coming weeks in order to scare away other clubs from De Ligt.

The club are clear they must ‘put all their weapons on the table to win the battle’ to sign the Ajax star.