Arsenal blow as Atletico Madrid join transfer race for £70m Ajax defensive prodigy De Ligt

The in-demand Ajax defender, 19, caught the attention of Diego Simeone's side after his incredible performance during the 4-1 win over Real Madrid.

According to Marca, the Spanish club are keen to land him as a long-term replacement for Inter Milan-bound Diego Godin.

Atletico defender Lucas Hernandez has been linked to Bayern Munich and Stefan Savic has struggled this season with injury.

As a result, Simeone is desperate to sign defensive reinforcements at the end of the campaign.

But following his sublime spell of form for Ajax this season, the Dutchman has become one of the hottest prospect's in Europe.

SunSport exclusively revealed last month that Arsenal are planning a shock move for De Ligt.

He has worked with Gunners legends Dennis Bergkamp and Marc Overmars and is a huge admirer of the Premier League club.

But the Premier League club will also have to beat Barcelona to his signature this summer.

Reports claimed that De Ligt has his heart set on playing at the Nou Camp and "expects" to join them.

Italian giants Juventus are also interested and have already sent scouts to watch De Ligt in action for Ajax.

But the Eredivisie side will try their best to keep hold of him and will value him at around £70 million.

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