The 2019-20 European football season is on its last legs and football clubs across those countries have already started the process of bolstering their squad for the upcoming challenges next season. In our latest post, we take a look at club Barcelona. The La Liga champions, who successfully defended their title in the domestic league, has already signed Ajax pass master Frenkie de Jong for the next five years and are in the market for few more players, which can help them in securing the coveted Champions League trophy, that has been eluding them since 2015. Barcelona were knocked out of the elite competition by Liverpool in the semi-finals this year. Champions League 2019: Liverpool Thrashes Barcelona 4–3 on Aggregate, Reaches Final for Second Consecutive Time.
We take a look at three more players, other than De Jong, who are primed to join Barcelona in the summer transfer window.
1. Antoine Griezmann
Antoine Griezmann (Photo Credits: Getty Images)
The biggest of them is, of course, Atletico Madrid forward and French World Cup winning star Antoine Griezmann. The 28-year-old, who signed a five-year contract extension last summer, announced his decision to leave the club on Tuesday. Football Transfer Rumours: Antoine Griezmann to Move to Barcelona After Leaving Atletico Madrid?
Griezmann, who joined the Rojiblancos from Real Sociedad in 2014, was speculated to move to Barcelona last year. But, changed his decision to remain at the Madrid club for another season. He guided Atletico to a Europa League title in 2017-18.
According to a report from Sky Sport, Barcelona is ready to pay the € 125million (Rs 10.85 billion) release clause of Griezmann. The French forward is also rumoured to have accepted personal terms with Los Blancos. Atletico’s away match against Levante on Saturday will be his last game in red and white stripes.
2. Matthijs de Ligt
Matthijs de Ligt (Photo Credits: Getty Images)
Ajax’s captain Matthijs de Ligt is the next player widely speculated to depart for Barcelona. The centre-back, who won the Golden Boy Award in 2017, is confirmed to be leaving the Dutch champions this summer.
He might as well join De Jong at Camp Nou next season with the Catalan club already prising away the midfielder for a € 75million (5.26 crores)
Ajax club CEO Edwin Van der Sar just last week admitted that the 19-year-old was playing his final games for the club. “I think he'll go to England or Spain,” said the former Manchester United goalkeeper.
Meanwhile, Catalunya Radio, a radio network based in Barcelona reported that the club will announce the signing as soon as Ajax are declared as champions of the Eredivisie. De Ligt is already the youngest player to captain in a Champions League knockout game at 19 years and 186 days.
3. Donny Van de Beek
Donny Van de Beek (Photo Credits: Getty Images)
Another Ajax young star, Donny Van de Beek is on the radar of top European clubs with Barcelona rumoured to be in the hot seat to secure his services. The 22-year-old, who was instrumental to the club reaching a Champions League semi-final, is also chased by Borussia Dortmund and French champions Paris Saint Germain.
But the Dutch midfielder is said to prefer Barcelona, where he can join teammates De Jong and most likely captain De Ligt. He has scored 17 goals this season, including the only goal in the semi-final away leg against Tottenham Hotspur.
He is valued at 25 million Euros but is likely to attract a higher price as clubs battle to land another Ajax boy wonder.
With three of Ajax's rising stars leaving for the Los Blancos, they find themselves in the same situation as Real Sociedad in the summer of 1988. Barcelona had signed three players from their domestic rivals that year.