Matthijs de Ligt is destined to link up with Barcelona or Juventus sooner or later, admits Ronald de Boer, with an Ajax legend conceding that a departure from Amsterdam is “pretty much unstoppable”.
The 19-year-old defender has emerged as one of the most sought-after talents in European football.
Leading sides from across the continent are preparing to battle it out for his signature, with title holders from La Liga and Serie A leading the way.
It was gathered that Juventus are preparing to step up their interest in De Ligt, while Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has claimed to be aware of what the Netherlands international’s next move will be.
De Boer concedes that the summer transfer window is likely to deliver a change of scenery as Ajax, who have already sanctioned a €75 million (£65m/$85m) switch to Camp Nou for Frenkie de Jong, brace themselves for interest to be shown in a number of their most prized assets.
“What is so great about this team, they are a proper Ajax team, they all have balls,” De Boer told The Telegraph.
“I do worry this team will be broken up in the summer. Of course, it is similar to the Monaco side that reached the [Champions League] semi-finals a few years ago. It’s inevitable.
“When you look at someone like De Ligt, he is already attracting a lot of interest and his departure is pretty much unstoppable. He is such a talent, he can play in any team, in any system, he will go on to have a brilliant career. He is not the only one.
“For me, there are three or four who could be sold because the amount of money involved, it makes it so hard for Ajax to resist. It is sad this has to happen, but it is football I suppose.”
With De Jong already destined to depart and De Ligt seemingly heading the same way, it remains to be seen how many others will make their way to the exits at the Johan Cruyff Arena this summer.
Nicolas Tagliafico is another to be sparking transfer talk, amid links to Arsenal and Barcelona, while Hakim Ziyech is said to be attracting admiring glances from Bundesliga heavyweights Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.