Barcelona and Ajax are considering a long-term partnership as the Catalans edge closer to securing the services of Matthijs de Ligt. According to Diario SPORT, Barça are offering 60 million euro for the defender, with Juventus the main competitors for his services.
There is a lot of optimism in Catalonia that De Ligt will join Frenkie de Jong at Barça next season. Last November, the deal seemed to be off as Barça were not offering as much money in salary and agent bonuses, and were unwilling to guarantee De Ligt a starting spot.
However, in recent weeks, it has been reported that De Ligt has become very interested with the idea of playing alongside De Jong at Barcelona next season.
SPORT also says that Barcelona and Ajax are pondering a mutual agreement to benefit both clubs in the coming years. There is already a very good relationship between the two clubs, both with the people who head each team today, and also historically.
Luis Suárez, Jasper Cillessen, and soon De Jong and possibly De Ligt will be players who have spent time at both clubs. Suárez went through Liverpool in between, but otherwise the rest came directly from Amsterdam to the Camp Nou. In the past, lots of players have come from one club to the other, with Johan Cruyff as both player and manager the biggest example.
The partnership would give Barça preference for buying young stars from the Ajax academy, while also giving Ajax preference in getting young players who do not have a spot in the Barça first team.
Players who outgrow the B team but have no clear way of landing on the first team would get time to grow in the Dutch league. It’s already happened with, for example, André Onana, who left Barcelona B to join Ajax and is now their starting goalkeeper.
This could also apply to young signings made by Barça with the goal of improving them - players like Marlon, Yerry Mina, Jean-Clair Todibo, Gabriel Moraes, or Emerson.