Bayern Munich supporters gather 60,000 signatures in protest against Matthijs de Ligt's transfer to Manchester United.

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Bayern Munich fans have en-masse signed a petition protesting Matthijs de Ligt’s proposed move to Manchester United.

The Red Devils are actively searching for at least one new centre-back during the summer transfer window, not least due to the departure of experienced defender Raphael Varane at the end of his contract.

Though United were initially put off by the potential outlay it would take to acquire De Ligt, Bayern’s willingness to sanction a sale for roughly £45m and the Dutchman’s openness to a wage cut has seen them advance their interest.

But Bayern’s decision to listen to offers for De Ligt has not gone down well with supporters, and a petition is set to surpass 60,000 signatures on Monday.

“We all want Matthijs de Ligt to stay at FC Bayern Munich!” the petition reads. “He has proven that he’s a world class defender, probably the best in our squad.

“There is a reason why he was elected as our best player in the 2022/23 season. Furthermore he is only 24 years old and has a bright future ahead, which he is going to use to fulfil his huge potential.

Eric Dier, Matthijs de LigtEric Dier, Matthijs de Ligt

Bayern are well-stocked at centre-back / Stefan Matzke – sampics/GettyImages

“Despite his young age, Mattha is already very mature and has a great mentality which will definitely make him a leading figure in defence and probably a competitor for captaincy in some years. His ability to speak English, German and Dutch fluently would help him a lot for that. With 19 years he already brought Ajax Amsterdam to the UCL semi finals as captain.

“Selling Matthijs de Ligt would be an absolutely horrible decision and we would definitely regret it. That’s why we use our voice to call attention that we will NOT make this mistake!”

Bayern have already added a new centre-back to their ranks this summer, signing Hiroki Ito from Stuttgart for £25m. Eric Dier’s move from Tottenham Hotspur has also been made permanent, while talks are ongoing over the purchase of Bayer Leverkusen’s Jonathan Tah.

Meanwhile, United will discuss the next steps in their pursuit of De Ligt and other transfer targets at a recruitment meeting on Monday, a report has claimed.

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