Connect with us

Manchester United

Manchester United want to sign Dutch defender in part-exchange deal for Pogba: report

Manchester United have reportedly been linked with a surprise move for Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer keen on recruiting another top-class centre-back.

De Ligt was on the radar of the Red Devils during the 2019 summer transfer window but the club decided against making an approach following the bidding battle between Juventus and Barcelona.

The Bianconeri eventually managed to sign the Dutchman from Ajax but he has struggled during his debut season in the Serie A, where he has been restricted to 17 starts.

According to The Star, United could be willing to sanction Paul Pogba’s return to the Bianconeri, provided they are able to sign De Ligt as a makeweight in a player-plus-cash deal.

Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof have been the regular choices in the central defence for United this term while Luke Shaw has slotted into the position when Solskjaer has chosen a back three.

The Norwegian has the likes of Eric Bailly, Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones to provide the back-up duties for the central defensive role but the former two have had injury concerns in recent seasons.

Taking this into regard, Solskjaer may be eyeing another centre-back but a deal for De Ligt seems unlikely, considering he is only in his maiden season with the Serie champions.

Elsewhere, agent Mino Raiola represents both Pogba and De Ligt and the United board may want to avoid any negotiations involving the Italian, who has regularly talked up the prospect of the former leaving the club.

Meanwhile, United could reintegrate Chris Smalling into the first-team squad when he returns from the loan stint at AS Roma. The 30-year-old has been one of the best-performing centre-backs in the Serie A this term.