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Manchester United 'alerted to possible Matthijs de Ligt availability'

Man United 'alerted to possible Matthijs de Ligt availability'
© Reuters
Manchester United are reportedly on red alert over the situation of Bayern Munich's Matthijs de Ligt after he was snubbed for Saturday's loss to Bayer Leverkusen.

Manchester United reportedly remain on red alert over the availability of Bayern Munich defender Matthijs de Ligt after another high-profile snub.

The Dutchman - a key figure in Ajax's run to the 2018-19 Champions League semi-finals under Erik ten Hag - earned a marquee move to Juventus on the back of his rapid rise to prominence in his homeland.

De Ligt spent three years in Serie A before making the switch to Germany in the summer of 2022, but he has struggled to play his way into Thomas Tuchel's good books this season.

With Kim Min-jae arriving from Italian champions Napoli to compete with De Ligt and Dayot Upamecano at the back, the former has often been left out in the cold and has also spent time out with a knee injury in the current campaign.

De Ligt earned five successive Bundesliga starts from January 12 to February 3, netting in a 3-1 win over Borussia Monchengladbach earlier this month, but he was dropped to the bench for Saturday's top-of-the-table clash with Bayer Leverkusen.

Bayern Munich's Matthijs de Ligt reacts on September 15, 2023© Reuters

Tottenham Hotspur loanee Eric Dier was given the nod alongside Upamecano and Kim in a three-man backline, which was run ragged at the BayArena as Leverkusen ran out convincing 3-0 winners.

De Ligt was an unused substitute throughout that chastening defeat, which leaves the Bavarians five points behind Xabi Alonso's men at the top of the standings and at risk of missing out on a 12th successive title.

According to The Mirror, Man United are now highly attentive to the centre-back's situation following his snub over the weekend, although he still has three-and-a-half years left to run on his deal with the German champions.

Despite his contract situation, it was claimed last month that De Ligt is open to seeking out a new club over the summer, although Arsenal could rival Man United for his signature.

Ten Hag is facing uncertainty over a plethora of his existing central options heading into the summer window, as both Raphael Varane and Jonny Evans will become free agents at the end of the season as things stand.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag pictured on February 1, 2024© Reuters

Varane's terms do include the option to extend for a further 12 months, though, while Ten Hag is also said to be willing to work with Evans for another year, having been impressed with his contributions since his return over the summer.

However, the former Ajax head coach has confessed that no decision has been made on the immediate future of Varane or Evans, the former of whom could be targeted by clubs in Saudi Arabia this summer.

In addition, neither Harry Maguire nor Victor Lindelof are entirely secure at Old Trafford, where Lisandro Martinez is arguably the only centre-back guaranteed to be at the club next season.

The Argentine was recently ruled out for eight weeks with a knee injury, though, and he has already missed a good chunk of action through a pair of foot problems over the past couple of years.

With Martinez sidelined, Varane and Maguire started at centre-back in Sunday's 2-1 win over Aston Villa, where Scott McTominay came off the bench to net an 86th-minute winner for the Red Devils.

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