Man United Can Have A Crack At Signing Long-term Defensive Target: A No-brainer For Ten Hag?

Manchester United have reportedly received a boost in their pursuit of Matthijs de Ligt as he is unhappy at Bayern Munich.

The Netherlands international, 24, has fallen down the defensive pecking order under manager Thomas Tuchel. He has started just 11 games in all competitions this season for the German champions, with Thomas Tuchel preferring the centre-back pairing of Dayot Upamecano and Kim Min-jae. As a result, the 24-year-old’s future at the club has been cast into doubt.

According to FootballTransfers, Manchester United are currently in pole position to sign Matthijs de Ligt if he decides to leave Bayern Munich in the summer.

De Ligt appears to be unsettled at Bayern, where he arrived from Juventus only 18 months ago. The centre-back is not happy with his current role under Thomas Tuchel, who handed January signing Eric Dier a start in Bayern’s 3-0 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

Manchester United’s interest in the player is genuine and the club have spoken to his representatives on more than one occasion. The report adds that Arsenal are also admirers of the Dutchman and could rival the Red Devils for his signature.

Matthijs de Ligt to Man United—Should they make a move?

Manchester United have been defensively cumbersome for most of the season due to a combination of injury problems and a lack of cohesion and continuity. Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane—last season’s successful pairing for the club—have barely played together this season, owing to the former undergoing ankle surgery.

Martinez’s recent injury has stressed the need for a new centre-back in the summer. Also, Varane is out of contract at the end of the season and the club hasn’t offered him an extension yet, while Harry Maguire was close to departing Old Trafford last summer. The Red Devils must bring in an upgrade on players like Maguire and Victor Lindelof, whose future at the club looks far from sorted despite his one-year contract extension being triggered recently.

Matthijs de Ligt, in that regard, would be a good fit for Man United. The Mancunian giants attempted to sign De Ligt in 2019, but he opted to join Juventus instead. After five years, there is a great opportunity for them to finally land one of their top targets this summer.

Ten Hag would fancy a reunion with the defender he coached during his time at Ajax amid uncertainty over Varane and Maguire’s futures. De Ligt is an experienced player who has proven himself in the Eredivisie, Serie A and Bundesliga, and he certainly has the required attributes to succeed in the Premier League as well. The Dutchman would complement Martinez as a pair and tighten United’s defence next season.

Given De Ligt is understood to be unhappy at Bayern and there is a big chance of him leaving at the end of the season, the Red Devils must go all out to sign him.

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