Juventus centre-back Matthijs de Ligt has been tipped to move to Manchester City in the future by former Ajax man Bryan Roy recently, and if he were to make the move to the Etihad Stadium, it could be bad news for Aymeric Laporte in Pep Guardiola’s side.
He said of the 21-year-old: “He will make his last year, he will close the three years with the Juventus shirt and then he will go away. This is my thought. Where? I don’t know, I believe in one between Barcelona and Manchester City.”
Both City and Barcelona were linked with a move for the young defender after his superb campaign with Ajax in 2018/19, when he captained the Eredivisie side to a Champions League semi-final, but he ended up joining Juventus in a deal reportedly worth £67.5m.
Since then, the Dutch international has gone on to make 63 appearances for the Old Lady, in which he has contributed four goals and one assist.
Injury problems, as well as the current viral outbreak, have meant that De Ligt hasn’t really been a regular in Andrea Pirlo’s side so far this season, but there is no doubting his quality and potential to become one of the best defenders in the world.
During his time with Ajax, former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher was full of praise for the youngster’s performances both on and off the pitch, saying: “I saw him giving a speech at the end of the season on a stage, speaking like he was 29, not 19. To be captain of Ajax and with them getting to where they got to this season, he’s clearly a leader and top-class.”
Although City arguably have three top-class centre-backs already in John Stones, Ruben Dias and Laporte, if they were to sign the £67.5m-rated De Ligt, he would surely demand a regular spot in Guardiola’s defence.
Therefore, when you consider that Laporte has often been third-choice this season as a result of Stones and Dias’ excellent partnership, you worry that the Frenchman would be the one to depart if De Ligt made the move to the Etihad.
However, given De Ligt’s impressive performances with both Juventus and Ajax in recent seasons, City’s sporting director Txiki Begiristain should definitely consider signing him if the opportunity arises.