Manchester United are in the race to sign Juventus star Matthijs de Ligt, according to the Italian press.
The centre back was one of the hottest properties in world football when he signed with Juve from Ajax for an eye-watering €85 million, aged just 19 in 2019.
His contract with the Old Lady runs until 2024 but due to new salary capping restrictions in Serie A, talks to extend his deal have already stumbled and there is increasing concern that he will have to be sold for less than his €120 million release clause in order to avoid losing him for nothing in two years time.
According to a new report by Corriere dello Sport, “The whole of Europe is attacking and Juve are trembling” in regards to the Dutchman.
“Chelsea, Liverpool, City, United, Real, Psg, Barcelona: everyone wants the Dutchman who won’t renew,” CDS via Tuttomercatoweb reports.
“In case of a farewell, the Lady would end up in trouble: the defence would have to be totally redesigned.
“It is the summer of the great central defenders and the Juventus player, of course, is part of this small circle of champions, so he too can enter the domino effect that is about to change the face of the top clubs’ back lines.”
The report claims that Juve are trying to extend De Ligt’s contract by two years, offering a salary equivalent to around £130,000 per week.
This is considerably less than Harry Maguire’s £190,000 per week and especially Raphael Varane’s £340,000 per week (source: spotrac.com).
It is certainly stiff competition that United would face if the 22-year-old is put up for sale this summer, especially without Champions League football to offer at Old Trafford.
On the other hand, United are closing in on deals for Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong and Ajax’s Antony, as new manager Erik ten Hag seeks to recreate the formula that served him so well as manager of the Amsterdam club.
With Donny van de Beek also at Old Trafford, De Ligt could be attracted to this familiar system and to the prospect of joining the renaissance project of a sleeping giant such as United.