Holland legend Ruud Gullit reckons Manchester United have no chance of signing Matthijs de Ligt because they won’t be playing in the Champions League next season.
The 19-year-old Ajax centre-back has long been admired by Europe’s biggest clubs after enjoying a sensational rise through the ranks in Amsterdam.
Initially de Ligt appeared certain to join Barcelona, especially as his Ajax teammate Frenkie de Jong has already agreed a deal to sign with the Catalan club this summer and due to the historical connection between the two clubs.
Manchester United were also strongly linked with the centre-back early on, and even offered him more money than Barcelona to sign for the Old Trafford club.
Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is desperate to bolster his defensive ranks ahead of the next campaign and quickly made De Ligt his No.1 target.
But the Old Trafford giants are unable to offer De Ligt Champions League football – something Gullit believes will be crucial in De Ligt rejecting their interest.
Get the latest sports news updates. Subscribe to our SMS sports service by texting ‘SPORTS’ to 22840.
“I don’t think it’ll be Manchester United, they don’t play in the Champions League,” Gullit told Omnisport when asked where De Ligt will sign.
“I think he wants to play in the Champions League, so that’s unfortunate for Manchester United.”
Premier League pair Liverpool and Arsenal have previously been interested in the defender, while German giants Bayern Munich have been keeping a close eye on his situation.
Italian giants Juventus and French club Paris Saint-Germain are also in the race to sign the highly-rated defender.
And, though he is yet to commit his future to a club, Gullit is hopeful the Holland international will make the right decision.
“It’s going to be difficult [for a lot of teams], a lot of them [big teams] might have UEFA [transfer] bans, so there’s a lot that’s going on still,” he added.
“So I hope he makes the right decision for himself.”