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Matthijs de Ligt

Matthijs de Ligt is one of the hottest properties in Europe and Duncan Castles believes the Dutch defender is on the radar of Manchester United.

Jose Mourinho couldn’t bring a central defender in the summer and Castles was speaking about the 19-year-old Ajax defender on The Transfer Window podcast (h/t Daily Star):

“I think De Ligt’s definitely on Manchester United’s list.”

The journalist spoke about Mourinho’s interest in the centre-back and claimed that the United manager wants someone who can immediately slot into starting XI for the Red Devils.

“He’s on the scouts list and he’s on Mourinho’s list. And the problem for Mourinho is, he needs a defender who can go straight in and lead a defence that has been the biggest problem he’s had in the team for his three seasons at the club.”

Jose Mourinho Manchester United

However, Castles provided a word of warning regarding De Ligt’s age. The journalist believes that asking someone as young as the Dutchman to start games for United would be difficult, especially since he is from a different country.

“You have to be some player at 19 years of age to move to a new country and become the leader of a defence like Manchester United’s, which is already weak.”

The report adds that Barcelona are also interested in the star defender and believed Mino Raiola is using United to send De Ligt to Spain.

“Why is he talking to Manchester United? Because if he gets an offer from Manchester United of a high salary he can take that to Barcelona and say: ‘right, this is the benchmark. If you want my player you’ve got to match that or better it.’”

Read more: Manchester United and Chelsea could swap attackers in winter window

United returned to Premier League action with a dull 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace. The draw has placed us 7th on the table and we are seven points behind a top-four place.