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Ranking the five favourites to sign Matthijs de Ligt

Matthijs de Ligt is open to leaving Juventus this summer and a number of leading clubs are interested in a deal for the defender.

De Ligt’s desire for a new challenge has alerted several of Europe’s biggest clubs with the 22-year-old regarded as one of the continent’s most promising centre-backs.

De Ligt signed for Juventus from Ajax in a €75m deal in 2019, having captained the Dutch side to a domestic double in 2018/19. He was named as winner of the Golden Boy award in 2018, becoming the first defender to win the accolade.

 

As speculation surrounds his future, we look at the five favourites to sign Matthijs de Ligt.

Manchester United – 20/1

Manchester United have been priced at odds of 20/1 to sign De Ligt, in a move that would reunite the defender with Erik ten Hag.

De Ligt made his major breakthrough under Ten Hag’s management at Ajax and was named as the club’s youngest ever captain in 2018. The teenager’s impressive performances led the side to the Champions League semi-finals and an Eredivisie and KNVB Cup double.

United are interested in signing a centre-back this summer, though are focused on a deal for Lisandro Martinez at present. The latter won Ajax’s Player of the Season accolade last season and is valued at £43m – a more affordable figure than Juventus’ asking price for De Ligt.

Manchester City – 20/1

Manchester City are also 20/1 odds to sign De Ligt, should Pep Guardiola look to strengthen his defensive options before the closure of the transfer window.

The Premier League champions have addressed key areas of their squad during the summer so far, including securing the headline arrival of Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund.

Julian Alvarez will also join up with the squad after a January deal was agreed, whilst Kalvin Phillips has been acquired as a replacement for Fernandinho.

City are well-stocked at centre-back at present with four high-quality options, though Nathan Ake has been linked with a potential departure to Chelsea after struggling for first-team football.

To stay at Juventus – 7/1

De Ligt is 7/1 to remain with Juventus next season, with the defender contracted to the club until 2024.

The Netherlands international won the Serie A title during his debut campaign in 2019/20, but Juventus’ dominance of the division has since ended with consecutive fourth-placed finishes.

De Ligt is now keen on a new challenge after three seasons in Turin, but Juventus will demand a premium fee for the centre-back.

With the long-serving Georgio Chiellini having also departed this summer, the Bianconeri will want a replacement sourced before allowing the Dutchman to leave. Fiorentina centre-back Nikola Milenkovic and Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly have been linked.

Chelsea – 5/1

Chelsea are second favourites to sign De Ligt as Thomas Tuchel looks for additions at centre-back.

The departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen have made the signing of at least one new centre-back the priority for Chelsea this summer and De Ligt has been named as the club’s leading transfer target.

Chelsea have the resources to bring De Ligt to the Premier League, while both Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic having been named as potential makeweights.

However, recent reports have suggested De Ligt is more interested in options elsewhere…

Bayern Munich – 8/11

Bayern Munich are the favourites to sign De Ligt, who is understood to be keen on a move to the German champions.

Bayern have been active in the transfer market so far this summer, securing deals for Sadio Mane, Noussair Mazraoui and Ryan Gravenberch, and the signing of a centre-back is now on the agenda for Julian Nagelsmann.

Niklas Süle’s exit has reduced the defensive depth at the Allianz Arena, with De Ligt view as a potential long-term leader of their backline.

Juventus €80m asking price could prove a significant obstacle, though Bayern have been linked with including Benjamin Pavard as a potential makeweight in a deal.

Read – Ranking the five favourites to sign Cristiano Ronaldo

Read Also – Noughties Nines: Luca Toni – Italy’s great late bloomer

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