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Reported Tottenham target Matthijs de Ligt has been speaking about his former teammate and Spurs defender Davinson Sanchez amid rumours of interest from the Londoners.

De Ligt has been heavily linked with both Tottenham and Barcelona in recent months. The 19-year-old is among the most talented young players in Europe and has already emerged as a first-teamer at Ajax.

Spurs have a number of former Ajax players in their ranks, including Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Christian Eriksen. The most recent player to make the switch from Amsterdam to north London was Davinson Sanchez.

And De Ligt, who played next to Sanchez during the Colombian’s only season at the Eredivisie club, has heaped praise on his ex-teammate.

“He’s really nice, but when he goes on the pitch he’s like an animal,” De Ligt told FourFourTwo. “Off the pitch, he’s humble and quiet – a little shy. Then he gets on the pitch and it’s like, ‘Whoa, what is going on here?’”

The centre-back was also asked about the reported interest in him from a number of clubs, playing down rumours of an imminent exit.

He said: “It’s nothing special, to be honest. There are so many tabloids writing things. I haven’t heard anything, so I focus on Ajax. It’s nice to see your name linked with those kinds of clubs, but if I didn’t hear anything, it doesn’t matter.”

Tottenham are likely to be in need of a new centre-back next summer with Toby Alderweireld seemingly no closer to extending his current contract.

De Ligt would be ideal, but a move to Barcelona may be too difficult for him to turn down.

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