Manchester United have discussed the transfer of defender Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus, according to a new report from Italy.
The Red Devils are widely believed to be in the market for centre back reinforcements.
The form of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof and injury proneness of Raphael Varane have been causes for concern over the last year.
In addition, recent reports claim that both Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe are set to leave the club, with Phil Jones’ future also uncertain.
De Ligt would be a world class addition to the centre back roster and set the transfer tongues wagging over the weekend when he said:
“There are talks ongoing between me and Juventus. Once the right moment arrives, I will decide to extend or to look further”
Current deal expires in June 2024 – in case of new deal, the release clause would be lowered [current one €120m]. pic.twitter.com/y0LCfPE5b2
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 5, 2022
The issue is that Juventus are asking some of their highest earners to take a pay cut to fit in with their new salary capping scheme, but the player is reluctant to do so.
This put many of Europe’s top clubs on alert, including United. And according to Calciomercato.it, United have already enquired but have balked at the salary – believed to be €12 million a year (just under £200,000 per week).
“Juventus have already [made] an offer that is around € 7.5 million including bonuses, definitely down on the current €12 million earned by the Dutchman. No surprise, given that the Juventus club has set the maximum amount for the salaries of its players at 7.5.
“The answer was clear: at these figures De Ligt will not renew with Juventus. The defender has no intention of reducing his salary because he knows he belongs to an elite of defenders who can play for great club titles that allow him to win the Champions League.
“In regard to Manchester United’s enquiry … it should be emphasized that this was not enthusiastically received by De Ligt, especially since the ‘Red Devils’ could not guarantee him a salary of €12 million.
“To date Juventus have not received any official offer and that, according to the current scenario, the Dutchman should remain at least for one another season in Turin.”
It seems odd that United would not be willing to pay the Dutch international a salary of £197,000, significantly less than Raphael Varane and around the same as Harry Maguire, for a player of De Ligt’s quality. On paper, the £102 million release clause would seem to represent much more of a stumbling block.
The player is yet another former Ajax star rumoured to be joining Erik ten Hag’s United revolution.
The list of targets in that respect continues to grow. With Donny van de Beek already at the club, various and numerous reports have linked the Red Devils with Frenkie de Jong and current stars Jurrien Timber and Antony as well as the 22-year-old.