Any causes for concern?

Matthijs de Ligt
[Getty Images]

There are traits in De Ligt's game that will raise a few eyebrows, particularly his injury record.

According to Transfermarkt, De Ligt missed 12 games through injury in 2023-24. Varane, who was often criticised for his injury issues at Old Trafford, missed 11.

Taking De Ligt's career as a whole, perhaps last season was an outlier. It is only one of two seasons where he has missed more than seven games through injury, the other being in 2020-21 when a shoulder injury kept him out for a lengthy amount of time.

Also, having played for three of Europe's biggest clubs, it is highly likely De Ligt will command a significant pay packet. With the departures of Varane and Anthony Martial - along with the uncertain futures of Casemiro and Jadon Sancho - it has seemed Ineos are keen to move on from the days of signing players on high wages.

Signing De Ligt could put pressure on that strategy.

However, considering Ten Hag has already had great success working with De Ligt in the past, he may be worth the risk.

Signing him would also be a statement of intent from Ineos, showing the manager they are keen to back him after choosing to extend his deal at Old Trafford.

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