Manchester United are targeting two of Eric ten Haag’s former pupils, Matthias De Ligt (Bayern Munich) and Frankie de Jong. 

“Mourinho has spoken to De Ligt several times in the last few weeks and is planning to replace Rafael Varane with him,” Manchester United Forever reported on Tuesday (Nov. 11). Spanish media outlet Sport reported on Tuesday that United are keeping tabs on De Jong’s future.

This season, Manchester United has been plagued by defensive insecurity. In 23 English Premier League games, they have conceded a whopping 32 goals and have a goal differential of -1. In their six UEFA Champions League (UCL) group stage games, they conceded a whopping 15 goals to crash out of the competition. 

A string of injuries to the center backs has hampered them. Baran was plagued by niggling injuries, Lisandro Martinez was ruled out for 10 weeks with a metatarsal injury he suffered at the end of last season that hasn’t fully recovered, and Lisandro Martinez was ruled out for eight weeks with medial knee ligament damage after his recent return. 

A new center back is an absolute necessity at the end of the season. Jonny Evans is set to leave the club on a one-year deal, leaving Harry Maguire and Viktor Lindelof in the starting lineup. Baran could also leave the club this season after a falling out with Van Gaal.

In this situation, Ten Haag has expressed interest in his former Ajax pupil Der Licht. De Ligt is one of Ten Haag’s former pupils. He captained Ajax to a UEFA Champions League quarterfinal finish in 2018-2019.

Der Licht moved to Juventus in the Italian Serie A ahead of the 2019-2020 season after a successful spell at Ajax. He spent the next three seasons with Juventus before joining Munich last season for a reported €77 million.

Last season, Licht was a regular starter for Munich. He played solid defense and was strong in big games. He was considered a successful signing and was named Bayern’s player of the month for two consecutive months in March and April last year.

This season, however, he has been pushed out of the starting lineup. The combination of Dayo Upamecano and Kim Min-Jae have been the first-choice pairing. Der Licht has only made eight starts in 13 Bundesliga appearances. To make matters worse, Eric Dier was added in the January transfer window and Kim Min-Jae recently returned from the Asian Cup. 

With his future in Munich looking uncertain, it seems that ‘old boss’ Ten Haag has stepped in. Another of his protégés, De Jong, has been linked with a 토토 move to United. ”Barcelona are seriously considering selling Theo and are open to a move for Theo,” according to Spanish publication Relevo. 

De Jong was a key player for Ajax in the 2018-2019 season. He moved to his dream club Barcelona in the summer of 2019 and has been a regular midfielder for the team this season. Last month, he reached 200 appearances for Barcelona. 

However, Barcelona decided to sell The Dragon. The reason: financial difficulties and poor performances. Barcelona has been struggling financially in recent years. This season, they lost the Spanish Primera Liga title and missed out on the Copa del Rey and the Spanish Super Cup. 

With De Jong unhappy at Barcelona, United have launched a recruitment campaign using Van Gaal. United had already tried to sign De Ligt and De Jong. They were in contact with De Ligt before his move from Ajax to Juventus and agreed to sign him last season. 

United, who recently changed ownership to Sir Jim Ratcliffe, are set to be aggressive in the summer transfer market, including the signing of CEO Omar Berarda from rivals Manchester City. Will United be able to land two of Van Gaal’s proteges?

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