Manchester United could get Ten Hag’s former player for bargain fee

Ajax coach Erik ten Hag before the match against Liverpool.

REUTERS/Michael Regan

Manchester United could land their prime defensive target for a significantly bargained price, reports have indicated.

The Red Devils are grabbing all the transfer headlines once again, after The Athletic‘s David Ornstein revealed that Bayern Munich defender Matthijs de Ligt is a viable target for the Premier League outfit this summer.

The 24-year-old is being viewed as a potential candidate to strengthen Erik ten Hag’s defensive unit. And the Ajax connection between De Ligt and Ten Hag is likely to have pushed the Bayern man at the top of United’s centre-back wishlist.

But with Manchester United’s existing financial fair play (FFP) woes, this deal strongly hinges on how much the Bundesliga giants demand for the Dutch defender.

Manchester United may get lucky in their De Ligt pursuit – report

After a successful stint at Ajax, Matthijs de Ligt parted ways with Erik ten Hag and co. to complete a big-money move to Juventus. He spent three seasons in Italy before making another switch, this time to German powerhouse Bayern Munich.

The Netherlands international’s time in the Bundesliga has had its fair share of ups and downs. And now, it may well come to an end, with Bayern looking ready to let De Ligt go.

According to The Times, Bayern Munich aren’t just prepared to offload De Ligt; they are willing to do so for a significantly lower sum than the £65 million they paid Juventus back in 2022.

If true, this could be a major boost for Manchester United, whose pursuit of De Ligt is being reported as “independent” to their interest in another priority target: Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite.

The actual price tag the Bavarians set on the 6 ft 2 in defender is yet to be determined. But the fact that he still has three years left on his existing Bayern deal means the sale won’t be too cheap, despite the player’s out of favour status at the club.

Talks between Bayern and United are yet to take place. But given the speed with which the Red Devils’ new co-owners INEOS are functioning, the next update in this transfer saga is unlikely to take too long to emerge.