Mundo Deportivo and Marca journalist Diego Martinez is claiming that Manchester United have all but wrapped up a deal for Ajax starlet Matthijs de Ligt.
The Dutch youngster is currently the most sought out defender in Europe at the moment, with Barcelona thought to be front runners in the race for his signature. But, according to a tweet from Martinez on Thursday, the 19-year-old’s move to Old Trafford is a done deal and a medical is the only thing holding it up.
Martinez also says that no more news on this transfer is expected before the end of the international break.
A previous report claims United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will hand central defender Eric Bally a chance to establish himself in the squad for next season and hopes the Ivorian will be fit enough to fly to Australia for the first leg of the side’s preseason tour.
Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof and Marcos Rojo will be given lifelines too, per the report.
The manager was also eyeing Leicester City’s Harry Maguire and Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly but he is understood to have cooled his interest in the pair and is prepared to look to the defenders already in his squad.
This claim over on De Ligt seems to contradict all of this but it’s also highly unlikely United will pass up on the opportunity to sign one of the best young defensive talents in the world just so they could give defenders who have mostly failed to impress another shot.
Bailly, meanwhile, has been on the sidelines since suffering a knee ligament injury against Chelsea on April 28 and he’s set to miss the Africa Cup of Nations. However, his recovery is coming along well and he should be ready to travel to Perth with the rest of the squad on July 7.
Despite Solkjaer’s immediate impact upon arrival last season, United finished sixth in the top flight, failing to meet their top four objective as rivals Manchester City won the league title.
They’re not among the bookies’ favorites to topple Pep Guardiola’s side next season, with the current champions still the favorites to lift the trophy again. Paddy Power are offering odds of 4/6 on a first-place finish for City while Liverpool, who finished just a point shy last term, are at a pretty reasonable 12/5.
The aforementioned bookmakers have United at 11/10 to finish in the top four and are also offering odds of 20 on them winning the Premier League outright. You could get your complete betting offers here if you fancy a punt on any of the above and The Bookies Offers will have you covered with the best betting offers in the UK for all of 2019, as well as throughout the upcoming top flight campaign. There are also welcome bonuses and free bets up for grabs, with enhanced odds and betting tips to go along.
Where the De Ligt rumour is concerned, Martinez bought himself some credibility when he tweeted about Alexis Sanchez joining United last January so, while this should be taken with a grain of salt, supporters could be forgiven for feeling optimistic.
The Dutchman would be an immense signing for the Old Trafford side if they could manage to pull it off. His defensive ability and goal threat is definitely something United could use at the moment, given their defensive woes. And it certainly speaks to his qualities as a leader that he was named Ajax’s captain at just 19.