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'De Ligt will not come to PSG' - Leonardo confirms Ligue 1 champions out on Ajax star

23:08 BST 08/07/2019
Matthijs de Ligt, Ajax
The French giants had been linked to the Netherlands star but their sporting director has admitted a deal is too expensive to pursue

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo has confirmed the club will not pursue a deal for Matthijs de Ligt, believing it is too expensive despite the Ajax star being a "great player".

The 19-year-old De Ligt has been in high demand this summer after excelling for club and country during the 2018-19 campaign.

Captaining Ajax, he guided the Eredivisie giants to the league title, as well as the Champions League semi-final, where they fell on a stoppage-time goal by Tottenham's Lucas Moura.

He was also part of a Netherlands side that made it to the Nations League final before falling to Portugal.

De Ligt's season saw him linked heavily to Barcelona, PSG and Juventus, but Goal reports a deal has been struck between the defender and the Serie A giants with a €10 million (£9m/$11m) difference in transfer fee holding up the move.

And in an interview with Le Parisien, Leonardo confirmed the defender was an option for the Ligue 1 champions but they have decided against it due to the finances required for the move.

"De Ligt will not come to PSG," Leonardo told Le Parisien. "There was a possibility. He is a great player but it was not a good time to make a big investment. 

"We must calm down a little. We don't have an envelope of €200 million to spend."

Leonardo did confirm the club are looking to strengthen the spine of the team, noting they are in the market for a centre-back and a defensive midfielder.

However, echoing his concern over De Ligt's price tag, Leonardo said Financial Fair Play is something PSG have to be mindful of when conducting their transfer business.

"We need a defensive midfielder and maybe a player to complete the central defense," Leonardo said. "In attack, we have many solutions. It will also be important this season to see young players get on the main team. 

"But there is also important data, it should not be hidden: it is financial fair play. The rules and criteria in force must be respected."

With De Ligt not an option, Leonardo was also asked about another high-profile centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, who has reportedly drawn the interest of the likes of Manchester United.

But Leonardo has warned the Napoli and Senegal star is also a very expensive target, and the club are not targeting him at this time.

"[Koulibaly] is a very expensive player," Leonardo added. "There is no specific project for the moment. But I do not want to talk too much about individual cases."