After watching his side coast to the Premier League title this past season with the best defensive record in the top flight, it’s questionable if Pep Guardiola needs to strengthen his backline.
City conceded just 27 goals in 38 games, a major factor in their run to the title and to accumulate 100 points, while they also won the League Cup.
Nevertheless, having fallen short in the FA Cup and Champions League, coupled with the fact that captain Vincent Kompany will turn 33 next year and has struggled with injury woes for years, a long-term replacement for the influential Belgian ace may well be needed.
In the past three seasons, Kompany has failed to make more than 22 appearances in a single campaign, and so while his leadership and experience are still key attributes, perhaps a more reliable figure is required to play heavy minutes alongside the likes of John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi.
As reported by Calciomercato, via Don Balon, it’s suggested that Guardiola has set his sights on Ajax youngster Matthijs de Ligt as he has continued to impress for the Dutch giants despite still being just 18 years of age, although he will face stiff competition in the form of Juventus.
With 60 senior appearances to his name already in the last two seasons, he has wasted little time in making an impression and gaining crucial experience, including in Europe with Ajax’s run to the Europa League final last year.
As noted by the Evening Standard, Tottenham are also being linked with a summer swoop, and it’s claimed that De Ligt could cost in excess of £42m, the fee spent on former teammate Davinson Sanchez.
In turn, it remains to be seen firstly if any interested party is willing to meet Ajax’s reported demands, and if so, if De Ligt is ready to make the move away from his homeland.
Potentially winning major honours and playing in one of Europe’s biggest leagues will be tempting, but it’s debatable as to whether he’ll get the same prominent role as he has now and with that, the important opportunity to continue his development.