Liverpool move to hijack Man Utd for £42m top target who ‘only wants’ one club

Lewis Oldham
De Ligt Man Utd Liverpool
Matthijs De Ligt is linked with Manchester United and Liverpool.

Liverpool and another club have reportedly made a last-minute hijack attempt to beat Manchester United to sign Matthijs de Ligt from Bayern Munich.

Man Utd were always going to be busy in the transfer market this summer following Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s purchase of a 27.7% stake in the Premier League giants.

The Red Devils need to offload some unwanted talents to raise funds, but they already appear close to securing signings. A new centre-back, midfielder and striker are understood to be among their priorities.

After having a bid of around £35m rejected by Everton for Jarrad Branthwaite (who is now being targeted by another Premier League club), Man Utd turned their attention to signing De Ligt from Bayern Munich as a cheaper alternative.

Man Utd to miss out on De Ligt?

The Netherlands international was once considered likely to emerge as the best centre-back in the world after his emergence at Ajax. But he’s had a difficult time at Bayern Munich and is reportedly available for around £42m this summer. 

Earlier this week, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano claimed De Ligt is Man Utd’s “most likely” signing in the centre-back department as Branthwaite is “too expensive”. 

“Centre-back, for sure, is one of the priorities. And so I think it’s the most imminent story for Manchester United. They want to bring in a new centre-back,” Romano said.

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“Matthijs de Ligt is on the list for sure. Man United already, around Friday, Saturday, made contact with the agents of the player to understand also whether the player was keen to maybe leave Champions League football for the upcoming season, but accept Manchester United’s project.

“What I’m hearing is that Matthijs De Ligt is absolutely keen on this possibility, also knowing when the manager does something important for him to accept Manchester United.

“Matthijs de Ligt looks like the most likely signing for Manchester United in that position, rather than other players who can be too expensive.”

However, a report from German journalist Christian Falk claims Liverpool and Ligue Un giants Paris Saint-Germain have made a last-minute attempt to ‘snatch’ De Ligt.

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Liverpool are in the market for a centre-back following Joel Matip’s exit as they need to secure a long-term replacement for Virgil van Dijk, who is out of contract in 2025.

But Romano claims De Ligt ‘only wants’ Man Utd so they remain the favourites in the race to secure his services.

“With Matthijs de Ligt, contact between Manchester United and Bayern continues,” Romano said in his Daily Briefing column.

“Bayern want to sign Jonathan Tah and they’re very confident, so will keep discussing the structure of the de Ligt deal with United.

“I’m told the only club with the authorisation from the player to negotiate with his agent is Manchester United. That is the intention of Matthijs de Ligt.

“Finally, after difficulties for a fantastic defender, he could be back working for a manager who trusts him.”