Matthijs de Ligt’s stance on Juventus exit amid Man Utd transfer speculation

Matthijs de Ligt has no regrets in joining Juventus last summer and is plotting a bright future in Turin.

The Netherlands international centre-half joined the Bianconeri from Ajax in 2019, after captaining the Amsterdammers to a domestic double and the Champions League semi-finals.

Amid interest from the Premier League, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona, Juve splashed £67million to take De Ligt to the Allianz Stadium on a long-term contract.

Juve chiefs splashed out on De Ligt, 20, confident that he can lead the defence for the next decade.

Veteran skipper Giorgio Chiellini is now in the twilight of his career and Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci the wrong side of 30, with De Ligt viewed as the man for the future.

But after a debut season in Serie A, under the management of ex-Chelsea chief Maurizio Sarri, that wouldn't exactly be described as smooth sailing, De Ligt has been linked with a move away from the Italian champions.

De Ligt was on the bench against Parma on the opening day of the season, but promptly took his place in the starting lineup when Chiellini suffered a serious knee injury.

He remained first choice alongside Bonucci until December, when a patchy run of performances saw him lose his place to Merih Demiral, the highly-rated Turkey defender.

However, two games after the winter break, the 22 year-old suffered ruptured cruciate ligaments himself, gifting De Ligt his place back.

Overall De Ligt has appeared in 20 of Juve's 26 Serie A matches overall, playing the full 90 minutes in all but three of those matches.

In January, Sarri was effusive in his praise: "I am the first to be convinced that he will become the best defender in the world.

"He had five difficult months playing every three days and having to settle in a new country, a new league with a new language."

Now however speculation has risen, notably regarding a switch to Manchester United to partner £80million captain Harry Maguire, has been mooted in some quarters.

That's despite United's relative strength-in-depth at centre-back, with Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe all in situ and highly thought of by boss Ole Gunnar Solksjaer.

There is also the matter of United electing not to pursue a teenage De Ligt previously, after scout Marcel Bout warned the club off a move over fears over the Dutchman's longevity – citing that his father, Frank, was overweight.

De Ligt admitted last summer that such claims were "annoying".

Regardless, having decided on Italy last summer, he is still keen to continue at Juventus.

He is happy with his development and that he retains the faith of club officials, and is settled in Turin with girlfriend Annekee.

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