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How Barcelona could line up with Matthijs de Ligt, Antoine Griezmann

Matthijs de Ligt and Antoine Griezmann are both being linked with a switch to Barcelona this summer, but how could the Catalan giants line up with the pair in the side?

Barcelona have won the last two La Liga titles - the latest coming by an 11-point margin - but it appears that the Catalan giants are eager to reshape their squad this summer.

A deal has already been reached for Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong to make the switch to Camp Nou in a big-money move, the first of what could be several high-profile transfers during the current window.

At least half-a-dozen members of Ernesto Valverde's first-team squad have been linked with a departure from the Catalan giants in order to free up funds for the likes of Matthijs de Ligt and Antoine Griezmann.

The latter appears to be the most likely arrival of the two, despite recent claims from Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu that they have never held talks with the France international.

De Ligt could also join Dutch compatriot De Jong in Spain, although recent reports have indicated that Paris Saint-Germain may win the race for the 19-year-old's signature.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how Barcelona could line up next season if they get both deals over the line in the coming weeks.



BARXI with De Ligt and Griezmann

Valverde already has three strong options in the centre of defence - Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti - but two of those players would miss out should De Ligt arrive at the Spanish giants.

Due to his experience, Pique would most likely get the nod from the start of the season. The decision would be harsh on Lenglet - who warmed into the left-sided role during the most recent campaign - although it will not stop Valverde looking at the bigger picture.

As for Griezmann, he would almost certainly begin his Barcelona career on the left-sided of an attacking three alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele and Malcom have been used there over the past 10 months with mixed results.

However, Griezmann would not be expected to remain tight to the left flank. Unlike the trio who occupied the role this season, the France international would be able to offer more movement and versatility to coincide with how Messi and Suarez often switch positions.

The arrival of Griezmann may also influence how Valverde goes about selecting his midfield. Sergio Busquets is expected to remain first choice as the most defensive-minded part of a three-man setup, but De Jong is capable of playing alongside the experienced Spaniard or as a link-up player to the attack.

The Netherlands international may begin the next campaign on the left-hand side of a midfield three, with Arturo Vidal getting the nod ahead of Arthur and Ivan Rakitic, providing that the Croatian remains at the club.

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