Matthijs de Ligt was the subject of a transfer battle before he signed for Juventus in 2019. The Dutchman was linked with multiple clubs including Manchester City and their neighbours United.

Barcelona were also in the picture to sign him, and there was some annoyance in the Catalan media that De Ligt went to Juventus, with multiple claims saying he’d chased the money whereas Frenkie de Jong had made the better choice.

Both men struggled to fully impose themselves in their first seasons, with both doing better during the current campaign. Tutto Juve have been speaking to Bryan Roy, who also came through at Ajax and has worked as a youth coach at the Dutch club, and De Ligt was one of the main topics of the conversation.

Asked if the Juventus player is currently one of the top three defenders in the world, Roy said: “It’s a difficult question, you have to take into account that there are great defenders like Ramos, Garcia and the aforementioned Chiellini and Bonucci. Maybe not among the top three, but certainly among the top five in the world.”

Roy was then asked if he’s sure De Ligt will continue with the Turin club for another season, and made it clear he believes a transfer will happen in the not too distant future: “He will make his last year, he will close the three years with the Juventus shirt and then he will go away. This is my thought. Where? I don’t know, I believe in one between Barcelona and Manchester City.”

Manchester City look well stocked for central defenders for the foreseeable future, but the opportunity to sign De Ligt would always be a temptation.