Manchester United urged to sign Premier League star instead of £42m target Matthijs de Ligt

Matthijs de Ligt has been linked with a move to Old Trafford (Pictures: Getty)

Manchester United should pull out of the race for Bayern Munich defender Matthijs de Ligt and sign a Premier League star instead.

That is the opinion of Liverpool legend Phil Thompson, who has questioned United’s move for De Ligt and suggested he could suffer the same fate as Raphael Varane at Old Trafford.

Erik ten Hag, who has signed a one-year contract extension at Manchester United after intense speculation towards the end of last season that he would be sacked, will sign a new centre-back this summer following Varane’s departure.

United appear to be making good progress on a deal for Ten Hag’s fellow Dutchman De Ligt, who Bayern Munich are open to selling after two underwhelming seasons at the Allianz Arena.

Ten Hag managed De Ligt while the pair were both still at Ajax and is keen to reunite with the 24-year-old at Old Trafford.

De Ligt is currently in Germany with the Netherlands Euro 2024 squad but is expected to accelerate his departure from Bayern following the tournament, with United his likely destination.

But former Sky Sports pundit Thompson has doubts over De Ligt and says Manchester United should instead be doing everything they can to sign Jarrad Branthwaite from Everton.

United made a move for Jarrad Branthwaite last month (Picture: Getty)

The Red Devils pursued the 22-year-old England defender earlier in the summer but their only offer, way short of Everton’s valuation, was instantly rejected by the Toffees.

‘Matthijs de Ligt is a good player, but when I look at Manchester United, I feel like they need a player who knows the Premier League,’ Thompson told Paddy Power.

‘They had Raphael Varane from Real Madrid, and he didn’t work out, so if you have de Ligt coming into the side, he might take a little bit of time to settle, which is something that United can’t afford to do. 

‘Jarrad Branthwaite is a top class player and he’s going to be a future England international. I think he’s a top player and if I was in Manchester United’s position, he would be someone I would go for.’

Erik ten Hag is staying at Old Trafford (Picture: Getty)

Turning his attention to his former club Liverpool, Thompson revealed he wanted the Reds to sign England winger Anthony Gordon from Newcastle United.

Liverpool were linked with a shock move for Gordon last week, despite the fact the 23-year-old – like De Ligt – is still out in Germany at the Euros.

‘Anthony Gordon would be a good signing for Liverpool, especially as a right-footer playing on the left wing,’ Thompson added.

‘Luis Diaz is very good, but there has been rumours about him leaving, so I wonder what is going on there. 

‘I did hear a report that Newcastle want Jarell Quansah as a swap, but that wouldn’t come into it because he’s one of the bright lights of this new Liverpool side, and he’s going to be a regular in our setup.

‘Anthony Gordon would be an asset, but where would he get into the starting team at Liverpool because you’ve got Mo Salah on one side and then Luis Díaz and Diogo Jota on the other side.

‘If you’re looking to build-up a squad, then I would take him, but it does depend on the price. Gordon is a good player, and I would like to see him at Liverpool.’

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