Classy Dutch defender wants to play in the Premier League and has asked to leave Juventus, according to a new front page report from Italy.
Aged just 19 at the time, Matthijs de Ligt joined the Old Lady from Ajax for a massive €85 million in 2019 amidst huge competition for his signature.
United were reported to be one of the clubs chasing the centre back at that time.
Transfer guru Gianluca di Marzio tweeted the report, by Corriere dello Sport’s Roberto Perrone, late last night.
“De Ligt wants the Premier League,” the headline reads.
“No to renewal … the Dutchman has asked for a transfer.
“Matthijs De Ligt, the most expensive defender in Italian football, wants a change of scene.”
The report claims that “the bomb exploded yesterday” during a meeting between Juve’s officials and lawyer Rafaela Pimenta, who has taken over the affairs of the late superagent Mino Raiola and who also now represents Paul Pogba.
Pogba’s impending arrival in Turin is one reason that Juve need to balance the books, with the same report admitting that outgoings are necessary.
“The positions are too distant,” the report continues.
“The Dutchman has asked for a transfer and now Chelsea and Manchester United are in pole position.”
De Ligt is not happy with his €115 million release clause and wanted it reduced to €80 million but Juve have not complied.
There is also the issue of the player’s salary, which currently stands at €8 million a year plus up to €4m in bonuses, but Juve are asking players to take a pay cut to bring their wages back in line with the new salary capping regulations.
The shocking report concludes that a figure in the region of €80 million could see the 22 year old get his wish, but the question is whether that is achievable by any club in the current financial climate.
Winner of the Golden Boy award in 2018 and the youngest captain in Ajax’s entire history, De Ligt’s talent and maturity were evident from a young age.
With two years left on his Juve contract, the club is not under great pressure to sell, but could prefer to do so rather than keep an unhappy player and wait another year when buying clubs will have the upper hand in negotiations.