The German champions had been encouraged to pursue the 19-year-old Ajax captain after initial positive talks but recently informed the centre-back in a telephone conversation that more pressing priorities in the transfer market ruled out a bid for him.
Those “more pressing priorities” are namely the need to sign a winger. Bayern has already spent €115 million to purchase French defenders and 2018 World Champions Lucas Hernandez from Atlético Madrid and Benjamin Pavard from now relegated VfB Stuttgart. The next major purchase will thus presumably be signing an attacker.
The club is now engaged in talks with Manchester City over Leroy Sané. Sané fits Bayern’s profile perfectly: he is an established star, German, and a starter on the German national team. But the sum necessary to pry him from the Premier League would undoubtedly break the club’s transfer record of €80 million, the amount just paid to secure Hernandez.
Alternatively, Bayern could spring for RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner, who seems poised to leave Leipzig on a free transfer in 2020, if he continues to decline a contract extension. And lastly, Bayern still appears to be interetsed in Chelsea’s injured starlet Callum Hudson-Odoi.
The top contenders now for De Ligt are speculated to be Manchester United and Barcelona. The latter club already signed De Ligt’s teammate Frenkie de Jong.