Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt has told his representatives he is ready to accept Manchester United’s massive contract offer, according to reports in Spain.
Barcelona have been leading the race to sign the 19-year-old for months, but United have swept in with a £65million offer as well as a lucrative contract worth £350,000-a-week and are ‘very close’ to landing the Dutch teenager.
Barca have been made aware of United’s rival bid but are refusing to budge on their own offer, which falls someway short of Mino Raiola’s demands. Spanish newspaper Marca now report that De Ligt has told Raiola he is willing to accept the offer on the table from the Red Devils and is far closer to signing with United than Barca.
Even without the lure of Champions League football next season, the Netherlands international has told his representatives he is still prepared to move to Old Trafford. Barca endured a similarly difficult negotiation when trying to sign De Ligt’s Ajax teammate Frenkie de Jong, with PSG offering a significantly better financial package, though the midfielder was eventually persuaded to move to Camp Nou regardless.
But United’s offer would make De Ligt the highest paid teenager in world football, and behind only Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez on United’s payroll, and is considered ‘too good to turn down’. United have been scouring the market for a new centre-back for some time and De Ligt is seen as the outstanding candidate, having skippered Ajax to a domestic double and the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Although he suggested his preference would be to link up with De Jong at Barca last week, he also hinted the move might not happen, saying: ‘It would be nice to play with Frenkie in a team, but I don’t know if it will happen.’
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