Man Utd news: Matthijs De Ligt ‘very close’ to joining after mammoth offer tabled


United and Barcelona have been chasing the Ajax defender, who enjoyed a breakthrough year on the European stage.

While captaining his home club to the Eredivisie title aged just 19, De Ligt embodied Ajax’s fearless run to the Champions League semi-finals.

The centre-back garnered much interest in the process but choose to not seal his future in January, unlike team-mate Frenkie de Jong who signed a pre-contract agreement with Barcelona.

It has been expected that De Ligt will follow suit and join his friend in Catalonia, but talks have continued with other clubs as United try to lure Dutch football’s prince to Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and co have reportedly made great process on that front, with Catalan radio station RAC1 reporting that a deal is “very close”.

The media outlet broke the news on Saturday night, tweeting: “Manchester United has made an irreproachable proposal to the Dutch centre-back.

“Right now, the player is very close to [joining] the Red Devils.”

Although United do not have Champions League football on offer next season, the riches they are able to offer players is almost unrivalled.

In addition, De Ligt is not obsessed with playing in Europe’s premier competition next campaign because he has many more years to fill that ambition.

It has also been reported that De Ligt is attracted to the idea of becoming the poster boy for United’s revival under Solskjaer.

Barcelona need to free up space on their wage bill in order to rival United’s overtures but are having trouble convincing players to leave.

Aside from United and Barca, Manchester City should be chasing De Ligt, in the eyes of Germany legend Didi Hamaan.

“It’s incredible to think that City spent more than £150m on Nicolas Otamendi, John Stones and Aymeric Laporte and not one of them has been the player Vincent Kompany is – and he cost around £8m,” Hamaan told the Racing Post.

“City have got a huge hole to fill after Kompany’s exit and to my mind there’s only one candidate – Matthijs de Ligt.

“There are those who say he is too young but I don’t buy into that. Sometimes you just come across a freak and that’s what De Ligt is – a 19-year-old who is built like a 25-year-old and plays like a 30-year-old.

“He has led Ajax into some of football’s cauldrons this season and is an absolute born leader. He is the man who can carry Kompany’s baton forward.”


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