Man Utd ready to fight Chelsea for Matthijs de Ligt
Manchester United are set to compete with Chelsea to sign Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt, according to Corriere dello Sport (today’s edition, page 2).
The Netherlands international has been with the Bianconeri for the past three seasons, but he could be on the move this summer following a breakdown in contract talks.
As per the report, Chelsea have already made the opening bid for him by offering £34.5 million plus Timo Werner, but the proposal has not been sufficient to convince the Bianconeri.
Amidst this, Corriere dello Sport report that Manchester United are ready to enter the scene. They have yet to hold formal negotiations, but are ready to take official steps for the 22-year-old.
United manager Erik ten Hag views him as a ‘priority’ and it is claimed that there could be a potential auction with Chelsea to prise away the Dutch international this summer.
The Italian outlet says Juventus ideally want De Ligt’s £99m release clause to be triggered by either English club, but a package between £69-£78m ‘would make the difference’.
De Ligt played under Ten Hag at Ajax for two-and-a-half seasons. In his final campaign (2018/19), he was named the club captain despite being just 19 years of age.
This shows the trust that Ten Hag had in his abilities. A reunion could be a genuine possibility this summer, but United may need to move fast to outbid Chelsea.
It is uncertain whether that could happen for now. They are currently focused on landing Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong. A deal could be finalised by June 30.
If they succeed in doing so, the focus could immediately turn to De Ligt. However, they may not have much room for negotiations with Chelsea also in the race.
For De Jong, Man Utd entered discussions without any form of competition, but the Blues are bound to make it tough for them to pursue De Ligt’s signature.
Chelsea have the edge with Champions League football, but United will be hoping that the chance to reunite with Ten Hag could persuade De Ligt to join them.
The 22-year-old would be a superb acquisition for United with his excellent distribution, strong aerial presence as well as the ability to clear his lines regularly.
Despite his young age, he is vastly experienced with 234 league appearances to his name, and should not be fazed by the demands of the Premier League.
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