Barcelona believe they have lost ground to Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich in the race to sign Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt, sources have told ESPN FC.
Sources close to the negotiations said that the "optimism" which Barca maintained a few weeks ago has decreased due to the renewed interest of some of Europe's biggest clubs and the excessive demands from De Ligt and his agent, Mino Raiola.
Lionel Messi scored twice as Spanish champions Barcelona ended the La Liga season with a 2-2 draw at Eibar on Sunday. Ernesto Valverde's side ended the campaign 11 clear of their nearest challengers, Atletico Madrid, in a season marred by a shocking Champions League exit to Liverpool in the semifinals that took some of the gloss off their runaway league title win.
There was nothing for either team to play for on the pitch, but Messi is still in a race for the European Golden Shoe. His...