Man Utd make ‘realistic’ Ten Hag favourite ‘concrete target’ as Ratcliffe ‘seriously considers’ signing

Jason Soutar
Erik ten Hag and Matthijs de Ligt celebrate after winning the Dutch Cup
Erik ten Hag and Matthijs de Ligt celebrate after winning the Dutch Cup

Manchester United are ‘seriously considering’ approaching Bayern Munich over a deal to sign Erik ten Hag favourite Matthijs de Ligt, according to reports.

De Ligt only played 30 times across all competitions last season having fallen below Kim-min Jae, Dayot Upamecano and worst of all, Eric Dier, in the centre-back pecking order.

The signing of Hiroki Ito has hardly helped and Bayern are reportedly open to selling the former Ajax and Juventus man this summer.

Man Utd are prioritising the signing of a new centre-back and have been linked with many, namely Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite.

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As you are well aware, De Ligt played under Red Devils manager Ten Hag. As you are also surely aware, Ten Hag loves signing former players of his and players with Eredivisie experience.

De Ligt to Old Trafford is a transfer that has been discussed for a while and in January he topped our ranking of the Netherlands squad by how likely they are to join Man Utd.

Finally, it looks like a transfer could materialise.

Man Utd ‘seriously considering’ Bayern defender (not Eric Dier)

Transfer expert David Ornstein says Man Utd are now ‘seriously considering a move to sign De Ligt’, though there have not been any ‘talks’ between the two clubs yet.

The Dutchman is an ‘increasingly viable option’ with the aforementioned Branthwaite currently Ten Hag’s top target.

Man Utd reportedly bid £35million plus £8m in add-ons for the England international but the Toffees want around double that.

Ornstein emphasises that ‘there is no certainty the move will happen’ but says De Ligt is now ‘a concrete target’ this summer.

While Branthwaite will cost around £70m, De Ligt is expected to be a more ‘realistic’ price.

It is unclear how much of a say Ten Hag has on transfers now that Sir Jim Ratcliffe is in charge of football operations and while this story indicates that he is heavily involved, the report says that the club’s interest is ‘matched’.

As well as De Ligt, Man Utd are looking at Leny Yoro at Lille, though a move to Real Madrid is expected, and Nice’s Jean-Clair Todibo – who can not be signed due to UEFA’s multi-club ownership rules.

Ornstein adds that much of the club’s summer transfer business will ‘depend on departures’.

The Red Devils have been linked with the Dutch defender for a while, first expressing interest during his impressive 2018/19 campaign at Ajax.

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