Juventus signed De Ligt as one of the best defensive prospects in the world in 2019, so they would hardly be surprised by the interest in his signature by other European clubs now.

The former Ajax man has developed into one of the best players in the Bianconeri squad and is being eyed by Barcelona.

La Gazzetta Dello Sport via Football Italia says the Catalans have made him their number one summer target.

They competed for his signature in 2019, but he moved to Juve and has seen his game improve significantly since his Ajax days.

Although they are in a financial mess now, the report says Barca is serious about their interest in the Netherlands international.

It further denies an earlier report that the Spaniards have a special release clause and says they also face paying the same €125m that any other club would offer to release him from his Bianconeri deal.

Juve FC Says

De Ligt is one of our most important players, but Mino Raiola’s clients are rarely loyal.

It might be a smart idea for the Bianconeri to prepare for life without him now.

There will be some impressive centre backs to sign as free agents at the end of this season, including Alessio Romagnoli.

Perhaps now is the time to plan for the future without him, so we can avoid an unnecessary surprise.