Despite being in the summer transfer market for a new centre-back, according to recent reports, one player who is unlikely to make the move to Old Trafford is Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt.
That’s according to a recent report from Italian outlet Calciomercato, who claims the Netherlands international is a strong candidate to leave the Allianz Stadium having so far failed to agree to a contract extension.
However, despite being eyed by several top European clubs, including Premier League duo Liverpool and Manchester City, the centre-back’s wage demands, believed to be as much as £10m-per year (€12m), are putting some suitors off.
This much appears to be true for the Red Devils, who are reportedly unwilling to match the former Ajax captain’s sky-high financial expectations and that could end the club’s pursuit of the 22-year-old.
United’s supposed interest in de Ligt largely stems from new manager Erik Ten Hag’s previous experience working with the talented defender.
The pair spent two years working together at Ajax. Speaking to German newspaper Suddeutschen Zeitung in 2019 (as quoted by The Sun) just before de Ligt left the 36-time Dutch champions, Ten Hag said: “There’s zero chance Matthijs de Ligt is staying at Ajax. There are so many clubs interested in him.
“He will leave us this summer, but I don’t know whether he will join Bayern or Barcelona.”
As fans know now, de Ligt actually went on to sign for Italian giants Juventus later that year.
However, despite arriving in the Serie A tipped to become one of Europe’s most commanding centre-backs, as well as carrying a £77m price tag, de Ligt’s time in Turin has been a disappointment overall.
Starting in just 51 domestic matches throughout his first two seasons with the ‘Old Lady, the former Ajax star has struggled to nail down a regular spot in his manager’s first-team plans.
Although featuring more frequently last campaign, now the time to discuss a new and improved contract has arrived, there appears to be some resistance from Juventus, paving the way for a potential switch to the Premier League.
However, with United seemingly headstrong in their desire not to pay over the odds, it is likely fans will be forced to accept the 22-year-old moving elsewhere.