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Why Raiola may cost De Ligt a transfer to Premier League giants

  /  autty

Ajax defender Matthijs De Ligt’s decision to link up with super-agent Mino Raiola could cost him a dream move to the Premier League.

We revealed last May that Manchester City were interested in the Netherlands international, who faces Real Madrid in a Champions League last 16 tie on Wednesday.

Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham have also watched the 19-year-old in action in the last 12 months.

Barcelona are another club reported to be keen on the £50million-rated De Ligt, who will be allowed to follow close friend Frenkie de Jong out of the Amsterdam Arena in the summer.

So far, though, only Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have contacted Ajax to make their interest official.

The belief in Holland is that English clubs are reluctant to do business with Raiola.

Pep Guardiola fell out with him after forcing Zlatan Ibrahimovic to quit Barcelona in 2011.

And, when the Monaco-based agent branded now-City boss Guardiola “a coward and a dog” last year, the Catalan retaliated by mocking Raiola for asking the Blues if they were interested in signing Paul Pogba from arch-rivals United.

Old Trafford bosses have also become wary of dealing with Raiola after they discovered he had been touting Pogba to Europe’s top clubs after the French midfielder’s war of words with Jose Mourinho.

And Raiola proved a difficult individual for Arsenal to negotiate with when Henrikh Mkhitaryan moved to the Emirates from Manchester United as a makeweight in the deal that took Alexis Sanchez to Old Trafford last year.

City are in the market for a new central defender, with Vincent Kompany soon out of contract and struggling with injury. United, Arsenal and Chelsea are also in need of defensive reinforcements.

Ajax were hoping that the level of interest would spark a bidding war.

De Ligt is a big admirer of English football and is touted as the next Virgil van Dijk after forging a strong partnership with the Liverpool defender for Holland.

He earns £30,000 a week and City view him as a potential long-term replacement for Kompany.

Already captain of Ajax, De Ligt will get the chance to test himself when European champions Madrid visit Amsterdam for the first leg of a last-16 tie.