Despite the fact that Barcelona have already won La Liga and the Copa del Rey, all is not well for both Valverde and Barcelona. There is a sense of failure across the club after Barcelona was surprisingly knocked out of this year’s Champions League by Serie A side AS Roma despite having a 4-1 lead going into the second leg.
The process of rebuilding has begun with the purchase of Coutinho from Liverpool, the signing of Mina from Brazilian side Palmeiras and an agreement with Gremio for Arthur.
The next set of rebuilding could include the purchase of Ajax duo Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong according to Spanish based paper Mundo Deportivo.
De Ligt is a tall, powerful central defender who is already captain of Ajax and already has five caps for the Dutch National Team despite being just 18 years old, is seen as a possible successor to Gerard Pique. There are signs that Pique seems to be physically spent and might not be able to play every week.
Club officials are said to believe that De Ligt, who already has five senior caps for his country, could be an ideal replacement for Gerard Pique in the years to come. He seems to be a perfect fit to how Barcelona play the game, he has a pass completion rate higher than 90 percent – better than any other defender in the Eredivisie this season. This simple and effective use of the ball hints at his maturity and is part of the appeal for the big clubs.
Apart from Barcelona, fellow La Liga giant Real Madrid and English sides Arsenal, Manchester City, and Tottenham are interested in signing De Ligt. The question is not if he will leave Ajax but when. De Ligt’s agent has stressed that the plan is to see out the season at Ajax, but with money to spend, squad spots to fill and competition for his signature, the bids could come before then.
Frenkie De Jong is a central midfielder who has been played in the libero position but surely his future is in midfield. He is yet to make his debut in the Dutch National Team but he is rated highly. His exquisite talents are reminiscent of Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets, which makes you think a move to Barcelona would be most fitting.
Watching him is exciting. He is endowed with stunning dribbling and passing skills, as well as an amazing vision. You should always expect magic when the ball is at his feet. He can slide past opponents as though they don’t exist and then deliver a pinpoint pass, whatever the range, sending a teammate into open space. He plays effortlessly, making the hardest things look ridiculously easy. He is booming with self-confidence, ready to take risks, yet keeps his pass completion ratio very high.
This summer could be a very long one for the two young players but the truth is the sky is their limit whether it continues at Barcelona or somewhere else.