Matthijs de Ligt has confirmed he does not intend to leave Ajax in the January transfer window amid ongoing speculation about a move to Manchester United.
Barcelona and Juventus have also been heavily linked with De Ligt in recent months as the teenager’s reputation continues to grow.
Should De Ligt join Juventus, Barcelona or Man Utd? Five key things to know…
- De Ligt, last year’s Golden Boy winner, has emerged as one of Europe’s best young talents since making his Ajax debut at the age of 16 two-and-a-half years ago.
- European giants Barcelona, Juventus and Manchester United are all rumoured to hold an interest.
- United appear more desperate for a centre-back than De Ligt’s other suitors, who possess the likes of Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti.
- The Red Devils have chopped and changed at centre-back this season, with Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Eric Bailly all rotated.
- They have conceded the most goals of any team in the Premier League’s top 10 and are clearly in need of a potentially world-class option at the heart of their defence.
De Ligt, who likens his playing style to that of Barcelona defender Gerard Pique, won the 2018 Golden Boy award and is believed to be destined for glory as one of football’s future leading defenders.
But the 19-year-old insists he won’t be leaving Ajax this month despite reports of clubs queueing up to sign him.
“I’m not afraid, but I don’t want to leave Ajax in this transfer window,” De Ligt told Dutch news outlet NOS.
“We have trophies to win and we all have to stay so we can bring success to our club.”
“Man United is perfect for De Ligt”
If Juventus’ interest is genuine, De Ligt could be lining up next to Cristiano Ronaldo in the near future.
However, former Ajax star John van Loen believes one of Ronaldo’s old clubs, Manchester United, would be a better move for De Ligt.
“I think Manchester United is perfect for De Ligt,” said Van Loen.
“I hope De Ligt rejects Juventus’ offer – Italian football does not suit him and the Premier League is much better and stronger.”
De Ligt would certainly face less top-class competition at Old Trafford, with Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo currently taking up the centre-back slots.
Ajax face Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League next month.