Manchester United have apparently done all they can to try to convince Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt to join them over their main rivals in this transfer deal – Barcelona.
However, according to transfer expert Duncan Castles on his podcast, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News, the Red Devils do not now expect to win the race for the young Dutchman’s signature.
De Ligt would be a dream signing for Man Utd after his hugely impressive form for Ajax this season, with the 19-year-old already club captain and leading them to the Eredivisie title and on a surprise run to the semi-finals of the Champions League after big wins over Real Madrid and Juventus.
Still, United always seemed likely to face an uphill battle to persuade a top talent like De Ligt to choose them over other big names, with the club less of a lure for elite players now due to their lack of recent success and the fact that they’re not in the Champions League next season.
Here’s what Castles had to say about MUFC’s efforts to persuade De Ligt to go back on his verbal agreement with Barcelona with a huge offer:
‘We know Manchester United made a huge financial offer to De Ligt and (Mino) Raiola to come there and they made a big effort to persuade the player to dump his verbal agreement with Barcelona and tried hard on that deal,’ he told the Transfer Window podcast, as quoted by the MEN.
‘What Manchester United are telling people who are discussing the centre-back position with them is that De Ligt will not be coming to the club, to disregard what they have seen in the press because the deal is not going to happen.’