Liverpool attempt 11th-hour hijack of Man Utd move for 24y/o ‘oil tanker’ who ‘can’t be stopped’

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Liverpool have reportedly made a last-ditch effort to try and steal a prominent Manchester United transfer target from under the noses of their arch-rivals.

Renowed German football reporter Christian Falk told the FC Bayern Insider podcast that the Reds and Paris Saint-Germain have both attempted to hijack the Red Devils’ move for Matthijs de Ligt, amid reports that the 24-year-old has already agreed personal terms with the Old Trafford outfit.

However, the Bayern Munich defender’s agent is believed to have informed LFC chiefs that the Dutchman has his heart set on joining Erik ten Hag’s side and won’t have his head turned at this juncture.

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Liverpool have previous when it comes to swooping in for Dutch players who’d seemed destined for Old Trafford, having stolen in for Cody Gakpo at the end of 2022 when the forward appeared almost certain to join United.

However, in this instance they seem to have left it too late to repeat the trick with De Ligt, who was vividly described by his former agent, the late Mino Raiola, as ‘like an oil tanker’ who ‘can’t be stopped’ when in full flow (Sport Voetbal Magazine).

It’s a shame that the Reds didn’t move earlier for the 24-year-old, who’s already accumulated more than 300 appearances across three European giants in Ajax, Juventus and Bayern and who boasts some of the best statistical figures among players in his position.

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As per FBref, he ranks among the top 4% of centre-backs in Europe for pass completion (93.1%), the top 7% for shots taken and non-penalty xG per 90 minutes, and the top 10% for progressive passes per game (5.57) during the 2023/24 season.

From Falk’s update, it appears unlikely that Liverpool will pull off a last-ditch coup for De Ligt like their did with compatriot Gakpo, but previous transfer windows have taught us not to completely rule out such 11th-hour twists until a deal becomes official.

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