Barcelona 'pulled out of Virgil van Dijk race' because he was 'too expensive' and 'did not fit tactical profile' — and will turn to Matthijs de Ligt

 

Nou Camp giants were priced out of move for Southampton central defender but continue to look for long-term option

BARCELONA have been forced to turn their attention to cheaper defensive options after being priced out of a move for Virgil van Dijk, according to reports in Catalonia.

Ernesto Valverde made a new centre-back his priority when he replaced in Luis Enrique but the board have so far not delivered.

 Barcelona were priced out of a move for Southampton defender Virgil van DijkBarcelona were priced out of a move for Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk
 Ajax teenager Matthijs de Ligt is the new defensive priority for BarcelonaAjax teenager Matthijs de Ligt is the new defensive priority for Barcelona

Mundo Deportivo report chief director Robert Fernandez had scouted Van Dijk, 26, but he did not fit the tactical profile they were looking — and was deemed too expensive.

Liverpool and Chelsea were also keen on the Dutch international, who ended the transfer window at Southampton.

The article insists Ajax teen Matthijs de Ligt is their new No 1 priority.

Barcelona are still looking to properly replace stalwart Carles Puyol, who hung up his boots in 2012.

 Virgil van Dijk was scouted by Barcelona but it was deemed he was not right fitVirgil van Dijk was scouted by Barcelona but it was deemed he was not right fit
 Barcelona are still looking for central defender to replace Carles PuyolBarcelona are still looking for central defender to replace Carles Puyol

Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti have formed a good understanding, so the plan would be to bring in young defenders who could learn before eventually taking over.

De Ligt, 19, is the priority because Barcelona feel any player who moves from Ajax would have little adapting to do due to the two clubs’ similar traditions and philosophy.

On top of that, he wouldn’t command too high a transfer fee.

However, he is a man in demand, with his former manager Peter Bosz keen to bring him to Borussia Dortmund.

 Matthijs de Ligt in action against Manchester United in Europa League finalMatthijs de Ligt in action against Manchester United in Europa League final

Source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/4715233/barcelona-virgil-van-dijk-matthijs-de-ligt/

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