England defender Danny Rose admits he does not know if he will still be at Tottenham next season.
The 28-year-old left-back has enjoyed a solid season with Mauricio Pochettino’s team, making 37 appearances in all competitions as the club reached the Champions League final and finished fourth in the Premier League.
However, speaking after England’s penalty shootout victory against Switzerland in the Nations League third-place play-off on Sunday afternoon, Rose stoked rumours about his future by suggesting he might have played his last game for Tottenham.
“I don’t know what the future holds now. I’m looking forward to a break. If I’m back at Tottenham next season, great, if I’m not – great. I’ll just have to wait and see,” he told Sky Sports News.
“It’s not about regular first-team football. I know my age and I know how the club’s run in terms of if you get to a certain age they might look to ship you on.
“It has been no secret that my name has been mentioned quite a few times in terms of players moving on and I’ll be just sitting tight over the next few weeks and just seeing what happens. Either way I’m prepared for whatever happens.
“Last season I didn’t play as much as I wanted. This season I’ve played quite a bit, it’s been really good.”
The centre of attraction in the transfer market, Matthijs de Ligt revealed that Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo asked him to join Juventus during the pair’s UEFA Nations League final date.
Portugal became 1-0 victors in the inaugural tournament after Goncalo Guedes’s goal found no reply.
Ajax star De Ligt has been linked to many top clubs, with Barcelona being the front-runners.
The Dutchman revealed that the Juventus start asked him to join him at the Italian club.
“Ronaldo asked me to go to Juventus,” De Ligt revealed in the mixed zone after the defeat, according to Marca.
“I was surprised by his request, which is why I laughed.
“I didn’t understand him at first.”
The player is wanted by top European clubs but he admitted that he is yet to make a decision and could do it after a vacation.
“I’m going on holidays now,” he said.
“I’m going to think about what’s best for me and then I’ll decide.
“It’s important for a young player to play, that’s the only thing I’m sure of.”
An end to this summer’s grinding transfer saga is, apparently, coming into view.
Matthijs de Ligt will, imminently, transform from football’s greatest object of desire to the latest adornment at one of Europe’s grandees in the aftermath of the Netherlands’ Nations League decider against Portugal.
Tantalisingly – and surprisingly – for a club that finds itself within a pit of despair so deep that even Dante would be daunted, Manchester United is a name that continues to be tentatively linked with the 19-year-old.
Precipitous wage demands that have stalled a once-inevitable switch to Barcelona are, reportedly, no issue for incurably covetous executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward or dealing with quarrelsome ‘super-agent’ Mino Raiola. Neither is the €75 million+ fee demanded by Ajax.
The appeal of the prodigious centre-back is obvious, even to a layman’s eyes. United’s appeal to De Ligt, less so.
Such bullish power and preternatural leadership skills should not be found in a – relative – newcomer, who has made little more than 100 club appearances.
Laymen, however, should not be making decisions at elite football teams. Look beyond the abnormal talent and inject a dose of rationality absent since chief executive David Gill and manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s devastating double departure in 2013.
Now is not the time for United to be pursuing coltish talent in pivotal positions. No matter how steep their rise.
This is different to landing a prospect on the wing, like Swansea City and Wales’ Daniel James. After their worst defensive performance in 40 seasons, a battle-hardened centre-back for the here and now is required.
Especially when much-improved Sweden centre-back Victor Lindelof only clocks in at 24-years old. Plus, next term’s potential full-backs in the resident Luke Shaw and Crystal Palace’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka boast a combined age of 44.
De Ligt holds himself like a veteran warrior. Youthful failings, however, still remain.
United’s Marcus Rashford took advantage of a miss-control to win – and convert – his penalty in last week’s eventual 3-1 win for the Dutch against England.
De Ligt was majestic at Santiago Bernabeu in March’s 4-1 humiliation of Real Madrid in the Champions League’s round-of-16, then powerless as Tottenham Hotspur roared back with three unanswered goals in the semi-finals.
Study clubs that United view as – historically, at least – contemporaries. Old heads reign supreme.
Vincent Kompany steadily dislodged John Stones at Manchester City in 2018/19 and Daniele Rugani has been forced to bide his time at Juventus, courtesy of last summer’s return of Leonardo Bonucci.
Gerard Pique offers wise counsel to Clement Lenglet at Barcelona. Jose Gimenez has developed gainfully next to indefatigable compatriot Diego Godin at Atletico Madrid, while Virgil van Dijk will be expected to bring on the exceptional Joe Gomez at Liverpool – fitness permitting.
Even at Ajax, the unheralded Daley Blind was a major catalyst for De Ligt’s outstanding 2018/19.
Bayern Munich appear an exception, thanks to youthful France recruits Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard joining up with 23-year-old Germany international Niklas Sule. But United do not boast anyone close to the retained Mats Hummels, who’ll remain to correct any faults.
Pursuits of Wan-Bissaka and James evidence that the Red Devils require several successful and perceptive transfer windows. Patiently backing standout prospects is the way forward, through troubled lands.
At centre-back though, they already possess one in Lindelof. Rather than attempting – however laden with folly the pursuit will probably be – to supplement him with De Ligt, the equally expensive Kalidou Koulibaly at Napoli is 27-years old and in his prime.
Spurs’ Toby Alderweireld has three more years on the clock and a beguiling £25m release clause, with Roma’s 27-year-old Kostas Manolas in a similar position.
De Ligt would deliver the buzz on social media Woodward so desires. On the pitch, however, he and United would bring out the worst in each other.