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Erik ten Hag 'keen to bring Matthijs de Ligt to Manchester United'

Ten Hag 'keen to bring De Ligt to Manchester United'
© Reuters
Juventus centre-back Matthijs de Ligt emerges as a transfer target for Manchester United, according to a report.

Incoming Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag is reportedly keen to sign Juventus centre-back Matthijs de Ligt during this summer's transfer window.

The Red Devils are planning to add at least one new central defender in the upcoming market, with Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe potentially all leaving on permanent deals.

Villarreal's Pau Torres and Sporting Lisbon's Goncalo Inacio have both been strongly linked with moves to Old Trafford in recent weeks, but according to journalist Oriol Domenech, De Ligt is also a leading target for the 20-time English champions this summer.

The Netherlands international played under Ten Hag at Ajax before completing a move to Juventus in 2019, and he has represented the Old Lady on 115 occasions in all competitions.

The 22-year-old has been an important player for the Turin giants this term, making 40 appearances in all competitions, scoring three times and providing one assist.

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

However, there has been a host of speculation surrounding his future in recent months, with Juventus thought to be open to letting him leave for the right price.

De Ligt only has two years left to run on his current deal in Turin, meaning that the Old Lady are not in a strong position when it comes to the defender's future.

Barcelona and Bayern Munich are also thought to be keeping an eye on the situation, but Man United are allegedly hopeful that Ten Hag's relationship with the centre-back could help the club sign him.

De Ligt, who has 35 caps for the Netherlands, played 117 times for Ajax's first team after coming through the youth system at the club.

Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong pictured in October 2021© Reuters

Man United are also being strongly linked with another former Ajax youngster in the shape of Frenkie de Jong, with Barcelona thought to be open to selling him in the upcoming market.

A recent report claimed that the Catalan giants would only demand a fee in the region of £51m, with the club needing to make a big sale this summer due to their financial problems.

Journalist Domenech added that De Jong is a leading target for the 20-time English champions, who are looking to overhaul their squad this summer following a disappointing 2021-22 campaign.

There will be no Champions League football on offer to proposed new signings next season, though, with the Red Devils instead battling West Ham United for a spot in the group stage of the Europa League.

Man United are currently sixth in the Premier League table, three points clear of West Ham, ahead of their final match of the season away to Crystal Palace on May 22.

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Ajax coach Erik ten Hag reacts on October 19, 2021
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CManchester CityMan City38296399267393
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs382251169402971
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381610125757058
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham38168146051956
8Leicester CityLeicester381410146259352
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10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38156173843-551
11Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381310154462-1849
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