Monday 17 June 2019

Matthijs de Ligt linked with Manchester United amid reports of Barcelona deal reaching impasse

Juventus v Ajax Amsterdam - April 16, 2019 Ajax's Matthijs de Ligt celebrates scoring their second goal. REUTERS/Alberto Lingria
Juventus v Ajax Amsterdam - April 16, 2019 Ajax's Matthijs de Ligt celebrates scoring their second goal. REUTERS/Alberto Lingria
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt is being strongly linked with a move to Manchester United, amid widespread reports in Spain suggest his proposed move to Barcelona has hit a stumbling block.

Di Ligt was expected to sign for Barcelona are his sparkling season at the heart of the Ajax defence included stand-out performances in their Champions League wins against Real Madrid and Juventus.

A deal for De Ligt appeared to be in place in April amid suggestions that the transfer would be announced in late-May, but United appear to have halted the completion of the deal after they made a better financial offer to the teenager.

United's interest in Di Ligt has been endorsed by Old Trafford legend Rio Ferdinand, who offered this verdict on the centre-back to Independent.ie.

"I really, really love this player," Ferdinand told us. "He is the youngest captain to ever get to the semi-finals of the Champions League. Leading his team, there’s a personality about him I like.

Bar his footballing ability that is obvious, he has a personality. He looks like he’s meant to be at this stage. You can see why all the top clubs are after him and United should trying everything to get him. He'd be perfect for a defence that needs a shake-up."

With United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suggesting he is keen to target young players as the club looks to revamp what has been a failed transfer policy in recent years, De Ligt would appear to fit the profile of player the Old Trafford club are looking to sign and suggestions that they have offered him a €250,000-a-week deal have been repeated in numerous well-sources Spanish newspapers.

With Barcelona at such an advanced stage of negations to sign De Ligt, a move to the Nou Camp remains the most likely scenario for one of Europe's most wanted young players and it remains to be seen whether United's interest is being used by his agent Mino Raiola to inflate his wage offer from Barca.

There is also some confusion over who will handle the final transfer negations for the De Ligt deal, with Raiola currently banned from working in the game after his previous indiscretions that were punished by Italian football authorities.

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