'Everything is possible!' - De Ligt to Barcelona could still happen as Abidal denies he claimed deal is off
A message appearing on the Instagram account of Barcelona's director of football Eric Abidal had led supporters to believe that a deal to sign Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax has fallen through.
It turned out to be the work of hackers, however, with the club's former defender following up soon after to insist his account had been compromised.
The 39-year-old added the message "everything is possible", presumably relating to the club's hopes of completing a move for De Ligt.
The Netherlands centre-back captained Ajax to a league and cup double, as well as being a key figure in their incredible run to the Champions League semi-finals.
That has seen a whole host of Europe's top clubs take an interest in signing De Ligt, with his future still appearing to be up in the air and no final decision having been made over who he will join.
The likes of Barca, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City and Manchester United have all been linked with the defender, who publicly claims that he is yet to make a decision and that he will now think about his next move.
The Spanish press is, however, reporting that Ligue 1 champions PSG are the front-runners to land De Ligt having held positive talks with his entourage.
And, while it had been difficult to ascertain if an Instagram post published on Abidal's account was related to De Ligt, he has now insisted that his account was hacked.
The original post displayed an image of Netherlands and Barca great Johan Cruyff with the accompanying text: "El que dude de jugar en el Barcaya no nos sirve". That translates in English to: "He who hesitates to play for Barcelona no longer serves us."
The picture was then accompanied by the text: "Thank you Johan, you are right" alongside the image, leading to supporters commenting in reaction to the post that any move for De Ligt is now off.
But Abidal responded within an hour claiming his account was hacked, adding the text: "Hey, everything is possible, all the best now".
Barca hope they will be able to convince the Dutchman to join his Ajax team-mate Frenkie de Jong at Camp Nou, with the midfielder having already signed for Barca in a €75 million (£65m/$85m). deal, ironically choosing them ahead of PSG.
The lure of being able to play alongside Lionel Messi is understood to be another plus point that Barca hope will tempt the 19-year-old to opt into picking a move to Spain ahead of some of their rivals in Europe.
De Ligt is now on holiday considering his future having finished his international commitments with Netherlands as Ronald Koeman's side claimed second place at the inaugural Nations League, losing to Portugal in the final.