Despite everything being said, it still feels like Matthjis de Ligt signing for Barcelona is the likeliest outcome this summer.
It’s been reported endlessly in Spain that the defender wants the Barca move, and an announcement has seemed a matter of time.
However, things have changed over the past week or so, with Manchester United now seriously dragged into the drama.
Mino Raiola’s demands were first thought to be the major obstacle, and now it’s the player’s salary. He reportedly feels he should be offered more than the Catalan club put forward earlier this year, given his increased status in world football.
On Thursday afternoon, Sport go with a headline saying De Ligt ‘moves away’ from Barcelona. The club want the player to show a ‘change of attitude’ and stop asking for more money.
They don’t want to enter a salary auction, and the latest developments ‘do not invite optimism’.
Ajax’s fantastic Champions League run ‘triggered the economic ambitions of Matthjis and his representative’. Interest from ‘numerous greats’, with Manchester United the only club mentioned, encouraged temptation to seek a better deal.
Barcelona have no intention of offering more, and are trying to convince the player on their sporting project. This, however, ‘does not include the economic effort required’ by De Ligt and Raiola.
It’s then stated, just as Sport did in their newspaper today, that Manchester United have offered €14m a year, which won’t be matched at the Camp Nou.
So, if all this is true, what happens now? It would be assumed the likeliest outcome is compromise, with De Ligt and Barca both making an effort.
Manchester United may well be being used, but if they feel that provides them with at least a chance then it’s probably worthwhile.