Juventus defender downplays talk of reunion with Ten Hag

Matthijs de Ligt is one of the top players being linked with an Erik ten Hag reunion this summer at Manchester United.

The Juventus defender emerged at the Dutch club under the guidance of Ten Hag at Ajax before he played a crucial role in their journey to the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2018/19.

Then he moved to Juventus where there has been a decline in standards.

De Ligt won the Scudetto in his first season, but the Italian giants have finished fourth in Serie A for consecutive years. It would make sense to monitor the centre-back’s situation over the next year as his contract runs out in 2024 – but, like Juventus, De Ligt also needs to get back to his best.

According to Tuttomercato, Juventus have ‘no intention’ of letting De Ligt leave this summer, with the 22-year-old defender beginning to show better form under Massimiliano Allegri. The Italian media outlet claims that this would come as a blow to United as it means Ten Hag misses out on one of his top targets.

While on international duty with the Netherlands, De Ligt responded to a question about a move to United. He focused his answer around Juventus and their ongoing talks over a new contract.

“There are ongoing conversations between me and Juventus,” De Ligt told Dutch publication NOS, as cited by the Manchester Evening News. “Right now I am focused on how I perform on the pitch, once the right moment arrives I will decide to extend or to look further.

“I look at the sporting project. Ending fourth in a row for two years in a row is not good enough, Juventus knows this too. So being Juventus, we have to make steps. I’m a Juventus player so I’m focused on that.”

From how I read it, De Ligt avoids the question on United, but he also rules out a move by stating that he is a Juventus player focused on matters in Turin.

Manchester United not actively pursuing Matthijs de Ligt

Sources have told Stretty News that De Ligt is a player admired by Ten Hag, but he is not a player they are trying to bring to Old Trafford this summer.

I would suggest paying closer attention to Jurrien Timber and Pau Torres.

It remains to be seen if United can do two deals to get the two of them in the door before the new season kicks off, but it would be a statement that Ten Hag is building from the back.

De Ligt’s situation may be of interest in the next 12 months.

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