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Manchester United 'suffer blow in Matthijs de Ligt pursuit'

Manchester United 'suffer blow in Matthijs de Ligt pursuit'
© Reuters
Matthijs de Ligt - recently linked with Manchester United - is reportedly on the verge of signing a new long-term deal with Juventus.

Juventus central defender Matthijs de Ligt is reportedly on the verge of signing a new long-term contract with the Italian giants.

The 22-year-old's existing deal in Turin is due to expire in little over two years, and there has been speculation surrounding his future ahead of the summer transfer window.

Incoming Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag managed the Netherlands international at Ajax and is believed to be keen to bring him to Old Trafford this summer.

Journalist Oriol Domenech recently claimed that Ten Hag had identified the central defender as a leading target in the upcoming market.

However, according to Sky Italia, De Ligt is close to ending the speculation surrounding his future, as he prepares to put pen to paper on a new deal in Turin.

Juventus' Matthijs de Ligt pictured October 27, 2021© Reuters

The report claims that the fresh agreement will run until June 2026, with Juventus determined to keep hold of him this summer, as Giorgio Chiellini is leaving the club at the end of his contract.

De Ligt played 117 times for Ajax's first team after coming through the youth system at the club before making the move to the Old Lady in July 2019.

In total, the defender has represented Juventus on 116 occasions in all competitions, contributing eight goals and three assists in the process.

De Ligt has again been a key player for Massimiliano Allegri's side this term, meanwhile, making 41 appearances in all competitions, scoring three times and providing one assist.

Barcelona and Bayern Munich have also recently been credited with an interest in the centre-back, who has been capped on 35 occasions by the Netherlands, scoring twice.

Netherlands centre-back Matthijs de Ligt pictured on June 27, 2021© Reuters

Man United continue to be linked with Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, while a new forward is expected to arrive at Old Trafford during this summer's transfer window, as Edinson Cavani prepares to move on.

Ten Hag is also believed to be desperate to add a new central defender to his squad in the upcoming market, with Villarreal's Pau Torres and Ajax's Jurrien Timber currently being linked with moves to the club.

The Red Devils could find it difficult to sign their top targets this summer, though, as the team will not be able to offer Champions League football to proposed new signings during the 2022-23 campaign.

Man United will head to Crystal Palace on Sunday sitting sixth in the Premier League table, two points clear of seventh-placed West Ham United, who travel to Brighton & Hove Albion, with the two teams battling for a spot in next season's Europa League.

Ten Hag has already started work as head coach of the 20-time English champions despite only finishing his season at Ajax on Sunday.

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Juventus' Matthijs de Ligt pictured on February 22, 2022
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