Bayern Munich have withdrawn from the race to sign Matthijs de Ligt, a source close to the club has told ESPN FC.
The German champions had been encouraged to pursue the 19-year-old Ajax captain after initial positive talks but recently informed the centre-back in a telephone conversation that more pressing priorities in the transfer market ruled out a bid for him.
Manchester United and Barcelona are thought to be leading the chase for the Netherlands international, while Juventus are also interested.
Speaking ahead of his country’s Nations League clash with England, De Ligt told AP: “Where do I see myself? Well, obviously the Premier League is a big competition — Spain also — but you have other competitions.
“It’s not [just] about those two. I still don’t know anything about where my future is, so I see how it goes.”
Bayern — who have already secured French World Cup-winning duo Lucas Hernandez from Atletico Madrid and Benjamin Pavard from Stuttgart for a combined €115 million to boost their backline next season — are instead eager to add another winger to their squad.
Negotiations to sign Germany international Leroy Sane from Manchester City have so far proved difficult due to the large sums of money involved.
With Callum-Hudson Odoi reportedly talking to Chelsea about his future, the Bavarians might be tempted to bring forward the anticipated move of Timo Werner from RB Leipzig to this summer. The versatile striker is out of contract in 2020.