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Matthijs de Ligt makes transfer decision after late Liverpool move

Barcelona are confident they have won the race to sign Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt despite late interest from Liverpool, Juventus and Bayern Munich.

The teenager centre-back is one of the brightest prospects in European football, captaining the side to the semi-finals of the Champions League and all but securing a 26th Eredivisie title at the weekend.

Ajax CEO Edwin van der Sar has previously confirmed that De Ligt would likely leave Amsterdam this summer, though the Dutch champions will demand at least £65million.

Ajax's Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg football match between Ajax Amsterdam and Tottenham Hotspur at the the Johan Cruyff Arena, in Amsterdam, on May 8, 2019. (Photo by Olaf Kraak / ANP / AFP) / Netherlands OUTOLAF KRAAK/AFP/Getty Images

There are a long list of suitors for De Ligt, though Esport3 and Catalunya Radio report that the 19-year-old has made it clear his wish is to wear the red and blue of Barcelona.

A delegation of officials from the club met with De Ligt’s agent, Mino Raiola, in Monte Carlo in April and, while nothing was signed, a verbal agreement over a contract was reached.

De Ligt intends to honour that agreement and is excited by the prospect of moving to Barcelona, while he is also keen to play alongside Ajax teammate Frenkie de Jong, who secured his own move to Camp Nou in January.

Although Liverpool, Bayern and Juve have all made enquiries recently, De Ligt’s clear preference is Barca and the Spanish champions could even announce his arrival in the next few days.

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