Manchester United pull out of move for Barça target De Ligt

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Manchester United pull out of move for Barça target De Ligt

United are reported to be challenging Barca for De Ligt's signature, but the player himself gave very little away on Sunday.

However, any United fans getting their hopes up saw their dreams dashed 12 hours later as it emerged this morning that United would not be securing a deal for the 19-year-old.

Manchester United expect top summer target Matthijs de Ligt to resist their advances and complete a move to Barcelona, with Old Trafford sources having told ESPN FC they believe the Spanish champions struck an agreement with the Ajax captain two months ago.

The Dutchman has shot to prominence as the most highly-rated young centre back in Europe this season after leading the Amsterdam-based side to the Champions League semi-finals, turning in some commanding defensive displays and scoring key goals along the way.

The situation has paved the way for United to muscle in on the race, though the player's insistence that he would only join a club competing in the Champions League could complicate any move from the Red Devils.

"There's no doubting Man United could have matched Barcelona when it comes to salary, when it comes to the fee they would be paying Ajax".

Therefore, Manchester United does not think it as appropriate to keep holding onto negotiations, where they possibly do not have anything to gain.

But despite the prospect of playing in the Premier League with United, De Ligt has made it clear to the club that his preference is a move to Barcelona, who have already completed a €75 million deal for his Ajax teammate, Frenkie de Jong.

- When does the new Premier League season start?

Solskjaer is still keen to overhaul his squad though after a tricky end to the campaign.

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