Liverpool lost £64m race to Barcelona for world-class No.4 target

Barcelona have reportedly won the race to sign in-demand Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt this summer.

De Ligt is one of the hottest properties in European football right now, having established himself as a key member of the Ajax and Netherlands first teams at the age of just 19.

The likes of Liverpool and Juventus had been strongly linked with the youngster, but Mundo Deportivo claims that Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is currently in Amsterdam to complete a deal.

De Ligt is set to meet with Barcelona representatives and the Ajax hierarchy on Monday and Tuesday to discuss his future, with the Spanish giants hopeful of pushing an agreement through before the Champions League quarter-finals.

Barca have already secured the signing of Frenkie de Jong from Ajax at the end of the campaign, and the two clubs are understood to enjoy a positive relationship at boardroom level.

De Ligt is contracted to Ajax until 2021, and the Dutch outfit are expected to demand a fee of at least £64m for his services.