Manchester United have received an early New Year present following the news that Spanish La Liga giants Barcelona are no longer in the running to sign highly rated Ajax Amsterdam defender Matthijs De Ligt.
The 19-year-old has been attracting the interests of European superpowers like Manchester United, Barcelona and others since he broke to the first team at Dutch Eredivisie side Ajax Amsterdam.
De Ligt has impressed a great deal for both club and country in such a short space of time.
Others like Premier League table toppers Liverpool, Italian Serie A champions Juventus and French champions Paris Saint Germain (PSG) are also in the running for the talented centre back.
Italian news portal Calciomercato revealed the news of the Catalan giants’ withdrawal from the race to sign the Dutch international defender.
Barcelona were keen on him as a long-term replacement for Gerard Pique and may have to look elsewhere for a right-sided centre back to take over the mantle from the aforementioned 2010 World Cup winner.
Manchester United still retain the desire to sign a centre back despite the dismissal of stubborn Portuguese tactician Jose Mourinho and Matthijs De Ligt could be a very good option for the Red Devils who will have to pay at least €65m to sign him.