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Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre plays down Matthijs de Ligt speculation

Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre plays down reports that the club are on the verge of signing Matthijs de Ligt and suggests they have no need for a new centre-back.

Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre has distanced the club from reports that they are on the verge of agreeing a deal to sign Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt this summer.

De Ligt has emerged as one of the most sought-after players in world football, having led Ajax to the top of the Eredivisie, the KNVB Beker final and the semi-finals of the Champions League at the age of just 19.

Barcelona have long been regarded as the front-runners for the youngster's signature, although the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Juventus and Bayern Munich are among the other clubs credited with an interest.

De Ligt's agent Mino Raiola is reportedly keen to steer his client away from Barcelona, and Mestre has suggested that the club have no need to strengthen their central defensive options.

"I don't know why they're saying this because [De Ligt] hasn't signed," he is quoted as saying by Sky.

"[Gerard] Pique is evidently one of the best central defenders in the world, if not the best. After him, we have players like [Clement] Lenglet, [Samuel] Umtiti and we've signed a very young player in [Jean-Clair] Todibo.

"The defenders we already have are of the highest level. In De Ligt's case, we'll speak with the sporting director at the end of the season and we'll speak not about De Ligt, but about what they say."

Ajax could wrap up the first leg of their potential treble when they take on Willem II in the final of the KNVB Beker on Sunday.

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Matthijs de Ligt during Ajax training on April 29, 2019
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