Manchester United hit roadblock in pursuit of De Ligt

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By Martin Graham | 22nd May 2022

Juventus have concluded plans to offer Matthijs De Ligt a new contract to throw a spanner in the works of Manchester United to sign the Dutch defender.

De Ligt, 22, joined Juventus from Ajax Amsterdam in the 2019/20 season amidst numerous potential destinations including Manchester United.

The Premier League giants have not lost their interest in him and with their appointment of Erik ten Hag, De Ligt’s former coach, their interest has intensified and they have gone after the defender again.

The 52-year-old Dutch manager is rebuilding United and wants to work with De Ligt again. The defender was also reported to be considering the move because of the opportunity to work with the manager who made him into one of the world’s best defenders and the hottest commodity in the transfer market during their time at Ajax.

But Juventus, who consider De Ligt to be one of their most important players, have made moves to offer the former Ajax captain a new contract which improves the terms of his current deal. This is to throw Man United off according to reports, but it could also be to increase his transfer value seeing as United are desperate for transfer business in the summer.

Juventus’ new deal to De Ligt, it is understood, will extend his current contract by two years from its original 2024 end date.

De Ligt is one of the youngest players in a Juventus squad with a lot of players in their late twenties and thirties. His youthfulness is an asset for the Old Lady, who want to begin anew with young players.

Ten Haag Talks with Ragnick about plans for Manchester United next season

Meanwhile, ten Hag has been reported to have held several consultations with interim manager Ralf Rangnick, who begins his consultancy role in June.

The Dutchman ended his contract at Ajax early in order to get a headstart at United and has been in serious talks with Rangnick as to how to set the club right ahead of next season.

Ten Hag made this known to journalists recently, stating that they have not spoken face to face yet but have been chatting via instant messaging on the changes to be made.

“We’ve been in contact via WhatsApp and hopefully we’ll have the opportunity to meet and speak in person, either over the weekend or on Monday morning at the latest,” ten Hag said. “I’m looking forward to speaking with him in person and getting to know him in person.

“I still strongly believe that there are a core of players that are top, that are well worth and good enough to play for this club, and, hopefully, most of those players will still be here next season.

“If the board, Erik, the scouting department will help them with all the issues that I can bring in to help them”

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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