Date published: Friday 7th June 2019 7:29
Manchester City could launch a stunning late move to sign Liverpool and Manchester United target Matthijs De Ligt as the Dutchman is ‘one of just a few players capable of replacing Vincent Kompany’.
That’s the view of former City and England winger Shaun Wright-Phillips, who believes the in-demand Dutch defender would be an excellent addition for Pep Guardiola’s side and they should flex their muscles in the transfer market by outbidding their fellow suitors.
The 19-year-old defender has emerged as one of European football’s hottest properties this summer amid reports Ajax are prepared to let him leave for a fee of around €80m (£70.8m).
On Wednesday it emerged that De Ligt has five offers on the table this summer, with Manchester United, Juventus, PSG, Liverpool and Barcelona all having made approaches to sign him.
And it appears that Liverpool are leading the charge for the teenager – who underlined his credentials in Holland’s 3-1 extra-time win over England on Thursday night – with his agent Mino Raiola looking to steer him towards Anfield.
However, Wright-Phillips reckons City could yet make a late play for De Ligt and, speaking exclusively to 888sport he said: “I wouldn’t say there are big names coming in but the club definitely needs some big characters because Vinny Kompany is a big character both on and off the pitch.
“He is going to be almost impossible to replace. But if you can start off by replacing him on the field then I’d love to see De Ligt at Manchester City. After watching him play this year and especially being so young I think him and Laporte would be a great team.”
“People will try and take advantage because it’s Manchester City but considering what he’s worth and capable of City should keep going for him. I’m not saying £180m or something stupid like that but I’d like to see him there because he’s such a good player.”
Wright-Phillips on efficient Man City spending
Wright-Phillips believes City have spent more efficiently than their rivals in the transfer market over recent years and he has backed them to continue on a similar path.
“Loads of clubs have had lots of money in the past and spent it but what did they spend it on? City have used the money very very well and bought the right players that gel with the system and club. And Pep makes it work,” he said. “But because we’ve done it that way, it means there is a bit of jealousy out there from the media. For a team to do what they did for the first time in history, there should be more talk and praise about it for the City boys because it isn’t easy to win the domestic treble.
“Every game they had to play was a battle with no room for slip-ups. They had no breathing space over a hard season so it’s well deserved. What they did was a great achievement.”
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