Manchester United may consider a move for Bayern Munich defender Matthijs de Ligt, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.
Speaking on the United Stand YouTube channel, Romano did qualify his remarks by saying a lot depends on who the Red Devils appoint as their new sporting director, but he can see de Ligt being on the club’s radar:
“I think he could be on the move. The link to Man United is easy because obviously, they are going for a centre-back. An important player like de Ligt, with a manager like [Erik] ten Hag could make sense, but it is not only Man United. I think there could be many clubs in the race.”
Fans on X are not overly convinced by de Ligt who has struggled for form and fitness during his time at Juventus and Bayern:
— Charlie (@CharlieDemayor) January 22, 2024
He's a over hype kind of player
— Prince 👑 (@Princeutd1P) January 22, 2024
He is not better than Maguire.
— FPL Cantona (@BriganteMichael) January 22, 2024
Todibo over de Ligt
Stay away from already failed players
— Kylast' (@utdkyla) January 22, 2024
GET FIKAYO INSTEAD.
— TK Moon (@tkmoon91) January 22, 2024
He has not lived up to expectations at Bayern or Juve and has had injury problems, I would be cautious over paying big money and his massive wages, I think with thorough scouting you can find as good a option potentially even with a higher ceiling on a much better financial…
— BankOfYouSmith (@Bankofyousmith) January 22, 2024
United will be targeting a new centre-half next summer
It has been clear for quite some time that ten Hag wants to revamp his options in the centre of defence. Heading into January, it was suggested that United’s number one priority would be a centre-back. However, the lack of funds have put those plans on the back burner.
A new addition is more likely to be made at the end of the season when there is more money available. By that point, INEOS would also have had time to revamp the recruitment department.
Will de Ligt be on the shortlist of targets?
As Romano mentions, no definitive decisions have been made at this stage. De Ligt is still only 24 years of age and he has worked with ten Hag before at Ajax so those are two factors in his favour.
However, other defenders will also be considered. Nice’s Jean-Clair Todibo and Benfica’s Antonio Silva are just a couple of the other names being looked at.