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Matthijs de Ligt will get Manchester United wish that Raphaël Varane was refused



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Matthijs de Ligt is expected to join Manchester United soon as the club are negotiating a deal with Bayern Munich for the defender.

Everything points towards this deal being completed sooner rather than later, with De Ligt keen on the move and the Bundesliga giants open to selling him.

Various reports suggest that an agreement could be made for around £40 million, with add-ons and contract clauses likely to be a feature.

United are in desperate need of defensive additions, particularly following the departure of Raphaël Varane.

While Jarrad Branthwaite appeared to be the priority option, De Ligt has long-term admirers at Old Trafford, none more so than manager Erik ten Hag.

The defender could have the perfect start at the club when his move is confirmed after a summer exit opened the door for his dream United shirt number.

De Ligt broke through into the Ajax first-team wearing no.36 – that was the shirt number he donned during the 2017 Europa League final against United. He was only 17 at the time.

However, the Dutch centre-back soon took the no.4 shirt once his first-team spot in Amsterdam was solidified, soon becoming the club captain as well.

Since then, De Ligt has worn the no.4 at both Juventus and Bayern Munich. Thankfully for him, the shirt number is available for selection at Old Trafford.

Phil Jones occupied the traditional number up until his departure last summer. Reports stated that the English centre-back refused to give up the number when Varane asked for it in 2021 after joining the club.

After Jones left the club, Sofyan Amrabat took the number after that during his season on loan last term. He is unlikely to join the club permanently.

This leaves the door open for De Ligt to get his favourite shirt number and the wish that Varane never got when he joined the club.

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