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'Logically, one option is better than another' - De Ligt hints at future decision amid Man Utd & Barca links

12:09 IST 03/06/2019
Matthijs de Ligt, Ajax
The Dutchman is considering all possible options and trying to remain "calm" amid intensifying speculation over his next destination

Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt has hinted he is close to making a final decision regarding his future, with Manchester United and Barcelona keeping a close eye on his situation.

The 19-year-old enjoyed a superb 2018-19 campaign, earning widespread acclaim for his performances in 55 matches across all competitions.

The Netherlands international helped Erik ten Hag's side win both the Eredivisie and the KNVB Cup, while also playing a key role during their run to the Champions League semi-finals.

Ajax were knocked out of the competition in stunning fashion by Tottenham, but De Ligt was one of several stars in the squad to attract interest from a number of top European clubs with his displays on the biggest stage.

United and Barcelona are thought to be leading the chase for the teenager's signature, with Italian giants Juventus are also eyeing a potential swoop.

De Ligt has given the biggest indication yet that he could leave Ajax in the coming weeks, admitting that he is thinking carefully in order to choose the "best" possible option.

"I am very excited about what could happen in the near future," he told RTL4. "I am also trying to stay calm, though.

"I view this as a challenge -- that is the most important thing. There are several options and I really want to pick the best one. Logically, one option is better than another.

"Life abroad could be difficult, but I am still an ordinary Dutch guy -- I am no different to the others. Perhaps living abroad will be more intense for me."

The Dutchman is contracted to remain at the Johan Cruyff ArenA until 2021 and he has already stated it's possible he will remain in Amsterdam for at least one more year.

However, the long list of potential suitors vying for De Ligt's services continues to grow with each passing week and Ajax may be tempted to cash in on a prized asset if a suitable bid is forthcoming.

Barcelona already managed to land one of the club's young stars in January, with Frenkie de Jong due to arrive at Camp Nou this month after agreeing on a €75 million (£65m/$85m) move.

De Ligt's proposed switch could also be held up by his agent Mino Raiola's legal woes after the Italian was hit with a three-month worldwide transfer ban in May.