Barcelona are without a win in the La Liga in the last four matches and have managed to keep just three clean sheets in all competitions this season.
The front page of Wednesday’s edition of Mundo Deportivo discusses about the Blaugrana’s transfer plans in strengthening the back four and Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt has emerged as a priority target for the Spanish champions.
Ernesto Valverde has the services of Gerard Pique, the injured Umtiti Samuel Umtiti, Thomas Vermaelen and summer signing Clement Lenglet as the first choice centre-backs at the club.
The former Manchester United man will turn 32 before the end of the season and has been largely blamed for their recent poor defensive displays, while the Belgian is a free agent next summer.
The 19-year-old featured for Ajax in the Europa League final against the Red Devils in 2017 and he has been followed by the Catalan club, which has only increased this season. His club teammate, Frenkie de Jong, who can play in the midfield and defence is also a target for the Camp Nou outfit.
Mundo now claims the European giants are aware that it will be difficult to get into negotiations with the Eredivisie to sign two players, meaning Barcelona would have to pick one and the teenager is ahead of his compatriot in the list of priorities for Valverde’s side.
Barca are expected to face competition from other top clubs for De Jong’s signature and the Dutch club will only part ways with the player if they receive an offer not lower than €70m.
They already have several options in the midfield and spending heavily in signing De Ligt will make sense as there is a sense of belief that he would impress for the club.
Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman also ‘recommended’ Barcelona to sign the Ajax star centre-back before he made his debut for the national team. Based on the current situation, it would be wise for the Spanish outfit to strengthen their back four than making an approach for De Jong.