The Reason Why Manchester United Passed Up On Matthijs De Ligt
Manchester United reportedly had the chance to sign Matthijs De Ligt but passed up on him over fears he would become "too fat" as he got older.
Scout Marcel Bout, who was brought in by Louis van Gaal but remained working with United when his fellow Dutchman was given the boot in 2016, watched De Ligt extensively and provided regular reports on him.
But according to David McDonnell from The Mirror, United never pressed forward with a move for the defender on the advice of Bout, who predicted that the Netherlands international would become like his dad, Frank, who he deemed to be "significantly overweight".
De Ligt was said to be Jose Mourinho's top centre-back target last summer but United decided against going in for him having been informed that he would lose his pace and power in the coming years.
Man Utd reportedly turned down the chance to sign De Ligt last season because they were told by their scouts that he would become too fat due to his father being overweight
Man Utd scouts watching De Ligt in the Champions League this season: pic.twitter.com/xFxaeh68Rs
- ODDSbible (@ODDSbible) May 11, 2019
#mufc had the chance to buy Matthijs de Ligt last season but decided against it due to concerns over his weight #mulive [mirror]
- utdreport (@utdreport) May 10, 2019
Since then, the 19-year old has grown into one of the very best defenders in the world and one who is attracting interest from a slew of leading European clubs.
De Ligt recently became the youngest player to captain a team in the Champions League semi-finals and scored the opening goal in the second leg against Spurs before Mauricio Pochettino's side staged the most incredible comeback and pipped Ajax to a place in the final.
Playing with maturity beyond his years, the 2018 Golden Boy award winner looks set to command a similar fee to the £75 million Liverpool paid Southampton to land his Netherlands defensive partner Virgil van Dijk if he is on the market this season.
Meanwhile, Jermaine Jenas believes that as good as De Ligt is, he would prefer Leicester's Harry Maguire at the moment.
"He [de Ligt] is a top player," the 36-year old pundit said on BBC 5 Live.
"He is clearly a player with a bright future ahead of him and is only nineteen years old. But I think Harry Maguire is a better player right now.
"If I were in charge of Manchester City, I would take Maguire over de Ligt.
"I don't see de Ligt doing anything Maguire can't do. The only difference is the age."