Manchester United legend Gary Neville has sent a warning of sorts to the club’s fans amid transfer speculation linking them with Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt.
The 19-year-old centre-back is one of the most exciting prospects in world football at the moment after a superb season for Ajax in which he captained them to Eredivisie glory and helped them get as far as the semi-finals of the Champions League with surprise wins over Real Madrid and Juventus along the way.
De Ligt has since been linked strongly with a number of top clubs, with the Daily Mirror among the sources to state Man Utd could be a possible destination for him this summer.
Meanwhile, ESPN have suggested the Red Devils expect to miss out on the Netherlands international’s signature to Barcelona, who in many ways seem the better fit due to their playing style and likelihood of competing for the biggest honours.
Neville has therefore warned United fans to be ready for disappointment amid talk of signing De Ligt and other big names as it’s often the case that being in the market for the best players means other big clubs can end up beating them to their targets.
And while this would feel like a real blow for MUFC now, Neville reminded fans that this even happened during the Sir Alex Ferguson era and is just part of the game.
‘The money in the game now means you’re always in competition,’ the pundit said on Sky Sports, as quoted by the Metro.
‘The club has lost players when it was successful to Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. We lost [Arjen] Robben to Chelsea in the mid 2000s, we lost [Samir] Nasri to City.
‘Don’t always think that when Sir Alex Ferguson was here it didn’t happen. This club lost players when it was successful to some of the biggest clubs in Europe that are competing with United.’