Matthijs de Ligt was once the most sought-after defender in the world. Now he is still only 22 - and is traded at FC Bayern. A top German coach should also be interested in the Dutchman.
Will Matthijs de Ligt become the new boss in Bayern's defence? According to media reports, Munich should want to sign the Dutch international from Juventus Turin for the coming season. After the transfer of star striker Sadio Mané from Liverpool FC, it could be the next coup for the German record champions.
Sports director Hasan Salihamidžić and trainer Julian Nagelsmann are said to have already contacted the 22-year-old, according to the Sky TV channel. According to information from "Bild" and "Sport Bild", the defender is said to have even deposited his desire to move to Munich at Juve. The clubs and de Ligt themselves have not yet made any public statements.
The defender moved to Italy from Ajax Amsterdam in the summer of 2019. De Ligt still has a contract in Turin until the summer of 2024. According to media reports, he has an exit clause of 120 million euros. A sum that is out of the question for FC Bayern, also because of the financial effects of the corona pandemic.
At 80 million euros, defender Lucas Hernández is Bayern's most expensive purchase in history. Should Munich dig deep into their pockets again for a defender, that would be surprising, after they just let national player Niklas Süle move to Dortmund on a free transfer.
In England, meanwhile, Chelsea FC and coach Thomas Tuchel are reported to be interested in de Ligt. The Londoners lost two defenders this summer in Antonio Rüdiger (Real Madrid) and Andreas Christensen (FC Barcelona). Tuchel's club is said to be hoping for around 75 million euros in de Ligt.
Since David Alaba left Real Madrid on a free transfer last year, Munich have been missing a boss in defense who also leads his neighbors. Dayot Upamecano, signed by RB Leipzig for 42.5 million euros, was too unstable in his first Bayern season. Hernández, who also plays at left-back, is not the commander in the back line. It wasn't Sule either. Benjamin Pavard, who has been the right-back up to now, sees himself better off in central defence.
De Ligt would be a leader. He was already captain of Ajax at the age of 18 and was an indispensable part of the Amsterdam Revival squad, which only lost to Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2018/19. Right-back Noussair Mazraoui, a Bayern professional since this summer, was also part of this fantastic young team at the time.
At that time, the people of Munich made direct acquaintance with de Ligt. In the group phase, Bayern, still under Niko Kovac, did not get beyond two draws (1-1, 3-3) against Ajax. What could de Ligt bring to Nagelsmann's squad? Overview in the game opening, composure on the ball, robust defensive work and of course leadership quality.