Manchester United are looking to strike a deal for Juventus centre-back Matthijs de Ligt.
That is according to journalist Oriol Domenech, who was speaking on Gerard Romero’s Twitch stream, [via The Express]. He claimed that incoming United manager Erik ten Hag is keen to add the 22-year-old to his ranks after the allegedly bullet-proof signing of Frenkie de Jong has all but been confirmed.
Domenech said that the 52-year-old wants both former Ajax players at Old Trafford to ignite his era in charge of the Red Devils. Both De Ligt and De Jong were part of Ten Hag’s Ajax squad which reached the semi-finals of the Champions League three years ago.
Having managed the 22-year-old at Ajax, Ten Hag knows exactly what De Ligt’s game is all about. The Juventus star, who is rated at around £63m by Transfermarkt, braved the move to Turin back in 2019. He hasn’t looked back since, making 27 or more Serie A appearances in each of his three seasons with the Bianconeri.
The young Netherlands international has also managed to transition his goalscoring touch from Ajax, having scored in each of his seasons at youth and senior level in Amsterdam and managing to keep this consistent across his three years at Juve.
With a passing completing rate of 89% in the current Serie A campaign, De Ligt is sound in possession, and that figure suggests that he nicely suits Ten Hag’s philosophy of playing progressively from the back.
However, his arrival would pose an issue for either Raphael Varane or Harry Maguire, both of whom are right-footed. De Ligt is also a natural right-footed centre-back; and judging by the way he sets up his Ajax side, Ten Hag likes to have one left-footed and one right footed centre-back within his four-man defence.
With Varane listed on FBRef as 59% right footed, Ten Hag could utilise the Frenchman’s left-footed ability and could deploy him as a left-sided central defender. In that case, Maguire – who currently occupies the role of left-sided centre-back despite his right-footedness – could well wave goodbye to his starting berth.
De Ligt, who has been dubbed “an absolute monster”, will turn 23 in August – the same age that Ruben Dias was when he made his move to Manchester City – so it could be the perfect time in his career for him to make an impact in the Premier League.