Man United turned down the chance to sign Ajax starlet Matthijs De Ligt ‘because Red Devils scout believed his DAD was too FAT and he feared the youngster would go the same way’
- Manchester United reportedly could have signed Matthijs De Ligt last summer
- But the Red Devils were cautioned against making a move by scout Marcel Bout
- Bout reportedly warned that De Ligt could gain weight as his father was fat
- The 19-year-old is now one of the hottest defensive prospects in the game
Manchester United reportedly turned down the chance to sign Ajax defender Matthijs De Ligt last season because one of their scouts believed he would become too fat, like his overweight father.
The 19-year-old captained Ajax to the semi-finals of the Champions League this season, where they were halted by a devastating comeback by Tottenham Hotspur.
De Ligt’s role in the Dutch side’s remarkable run, which saw them defeat reigning European champions Real Madrid and Italian giants Juventus along the way, has seen him become one of the continent’s hottest prospects with a price tag set to rival Virgil van Dijk’s world record fee for a defender of £75million this summer.
Manchester United reportedly turned down Matthijs De Ligt because his father was too fat
United’s scout feared De Ligt would gain weight like his father and lose his pace and power
But according to the Mirror, United passed up the chance to sign De Ligt for a much lower fee because the scout who recommended him, Marcel Bout, was concerned the centre-half would lose his pace and power due to weight gain.
Bout was recruited by Louis van Gaal during his tenure at Old Trafford and reportedly scouted De Ligt extensively, but cautioned against making a move for the now widely-sought-after youngster as he believed he could go the same way as his overweight father, Frank.
Jose Mourinho implored the United hierarchy to sign a new defender last summer but none of the Portuguese manager’s five targets were successfully recruited.
De Ligt is now one of Europe’s hottest prospects and United are reportedly interested in him
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been linked with a move for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly as the club once again embark on squad reconstruction work, with a central defender said to be high on the Norwegian’s shopping list.
Manchester United are rumoured to be once again pursuing Dutch international De Ligt, but their failure to qualify for the Champions League is likely to count against them in the transfer market.
Barcelona are also reportedly keen to snap up De Ligt having already recruited prodigious team-mate Frenkie de Jong for £75million.