Manchester United are reportedly desperate to sign Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt this summer, but have accepted that the Netherlands international is likely to make the move to Barcelona.
De Ligt is widely regarded as the best young central defender in European football and has played a key role in his team's progression to the semi-finals of the Champions League.
According to The Mirror, United view De Ligt as 'the ultimate signing' ahead of this summer's window, but the Red Devils expect to lose out to Barca when it comes to the 19-year-old.
Indeed, it is understood that the Spanish champions already have an agreement in place to sign the teenager at the end of the 2018-19 campaign.
De Ligt has scored five times in 48 appearances for Ajax this season, while he has made 110 appearances for the Dutch giants since debuting in 2016.