‘Dutch Maguire’ moves closer to Man Utd after Tuchel humiliation

Carlo Garganese
Carlo Garganese
  • 11 Feb 2024 05:22 CST
  • 3 min read
Thomas Tuchel, Erik ten Hag

Matthijs De Ligt has moved a step closer to Manchester United after a humiliating snub by his Bayern Munich manager Thomas Tuchel on Saturday.

De Ligt has fallen well down the pecking order at Bayern this season and does not see eye to eye with Tuchel, who is understood to not be a fan of the Dutch defender.

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But on Saturday, De Ligt received his biggest humiliation yet as Tuchel preferred Eric Dier ahead of the ex-Juventus man.

Tuchel fielded a back three against Bayer Leverkusen with Dier in the middle flanked by fellow centre backs Kim Min-Jae and Dayot Upamecano.

Bayern and Dier produced a horrific performance as they were thrashed 3-0 by Leverkusen, fallen five points behind them at the top of the table.

De Ligt stayed on the bench for the whole game.

This episode has made it even more likely that De Ligt will be sold by Bayern at the end of the season.

According to Sky Germany, Bayern have made it clear to Man Utd and all interested parties that De Ligt is available for sale at the end of the season.

Man Utd and De Ligt had been interested in doing a deal during the January transfer window but Bayern wished to keep the player until the end of the term.

De Ligt is a bench player
© IMAGO - De Ligt is a bench player

Man Utd want to sign a centre back

Man Utd are in the market for at least one top centre-back in 2024 as a number of their current central defenders are likely to leave in the summer.

The futures of Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof and Jonny Evans are in doubt as their contracts are expiring, while Harry Maguire’s future is not secure either.

Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag is a big fan of De Ligt having worked with him at Ajax.

During that time De Ligt emerged as arguably the most promising young centre back in Europe before signing for Juventus in the summer of 2019.

However, he never lived up to his potential at Juve, who sold him to Bayern Munich in 2022 for €80 million.

De Ligt signed a five-year contract in Bavaria that runs until 2027 but he has also struggled at times at Bayern.

This has led to him even being nicknamed the ‘Dutch Harry Maguire’ due to his occasional propensity for clumsy mistakes and a lack of speed when on the turn.

De Ligt could now potentially partner the original Harry Maguire at Old Trafford next season, with Bayern open to a sale.

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