Man United suffer transfer blow after defensive target labelled not for sale

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Man Utd TEAMtalk

Reported Manchester United target Matthijs de Ligt will not be allowed to leave Juventus this summer claim reports coming out of Italy. 

The Red Devils have been linked with a move for the Dutch defender as they look to find the perfect centre back partner for Harry Maguire, who has impressed during his first season at Old Trafford.

With de Ligt, 20, so far failing to recapture the form that saw him impress for Ajax last season, it had been reported that United were hopeful of convincing the Italian club into letting him go just 12 months after signing him for £67.5million on a five-year deal.

However, a report in the Daily Star (citing Tuttsoport) states that ex-Chelsea boss Sarri is keen to keep him in Turin for next season and beyond.

Despite struggling during his first season in Serie A the 61-year-old manager has kept faith with the young defender, playing him on 27 occasions in all competitions.

And with Giorgio Chiellini now 35-years-old and nearing the end of his career, it is likely that the club will still view de Ligt as his long term successor.

The report also refers to quotes from Sarri made in January, when he predicted that de Ligt is set for a big future in the game.

“I am the first to be convinced that he will become the best defender in the world,” Sarri told Sky Sport Italia.

 

 

“He had five difficult months playing every three days and having to settle in a new country, a new league with a new language.”

The news of his unavailability will be a setback for United, who will now have to turn their attention to other targets.

Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly is believed to be one of those, with the Senegalese defender thought to be a long term target for Old Trafford chiefs.

It has also been reported that Diego Godin of Inter Milan is another option, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said to be considering moves for both of those in a big money double raid of the Italian league.

Meanwhile, the Red Devils have been linked with a €40m move for a Real Madrid midfielder which could pave the way for Paul Pogba’s departure.