defender for Juventus Matthijs de Ligt is said to be unhappy at Turin and has made it obvious to Barcelona that he would be interested in joining them.
Two years after first rejecting them, the Spanish side has now accepted them. De Ligt was one of Europe’s hottest prospective clients in 2019, with Barcelona wanting to lure him to Camp Nou with Ajax teammate Frenkie de Jong. However, the centre-back shunned their efforts and instead signed a 67.5 million deal with Juventus.
De Ligt chose Juventus over Barcelona|Getty Images/Marco Luzzani Since then, though, things haven’t gone quite as planned for De Ligt, who has suffered with injuries and hasn’t always been the unquestionable starter you’d expect a player of his caliber to be, and Catalunya Radio reports that De Ligt is no longer happy in Turin. The 21-year-old is said to have been discussing with his friends how big of a mistake he made by passing up Barcelona for Juventus in 2019, and those thoughts have found their way to Camp Nou, where club executives have been given the idea that De Ligt wants to return to Spain.
De Ligt has even spoken with De Jong about the potential of joining him at Barcelona, with the midfielder certain that the door is still open for his former teammate.
De Ligt and De Jong have explored relocating.|Getty Images/Juan Manuel Serrano Arce That’s all well and good, but don’t get your hopes up that this will be a smooth shift. De Ligt cost Juve almost 70 million euros only two years ago, and he still has three years left on his deal, so he’s not going anywhere cheaply. Barcelona recognizes that they cannot pay that kind of money, but club officials are willing to work out a solution and want to take advantage of their positive relationship with Juventus to work out a prospective player-swap deal. Last summer, the two sides traded Arthur Melo and Miralem Pjanic – an offer that neither club has taken up as of yet – but there is optimism that a similar arrangement can be reached over De Ligt.
The Pjanic trade deal did not go well|Getty Images/Juan Manuel Serrano Arce The problem is that Barcelona may not have the necessary properties to conclude a transaction. The club intends to sell Samuel Umtiti, who is undeserving of anything near the same price as De Ligt, but it’s uncertain if Barcelona would be willing to extend to an expensive striker like Antoine Griezmann or Philippe Coutinho.
Is it possible that Pjanic may be used as a negotiating chip? The Bosnian is dissatisfied at Camp Nou after struggling for minutes under Ronald Koeman, and he may jump at the chance to return to the squad that gave him four brilliant seasons.
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