ESPN claim De Ligt, who starred as Ajax reached the Champions League semi-finals, was given the opportunity to move to Old Trafford.
But Barcelona are apparently on the verge of completing a deal for the 19-year-old.
However, Manchester United chiefs are said to have other top targets.
Leicester centre-back Harry Maguire and Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly are the preferred options.
That is according to ESPN, who insist the Red Devils would have preferred either man to De Ligt.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to get his business done early this transfer window.
And one of his areas of concern is the defence after United shipped in the 10th most amount of Premier League goals last term.
United are also keen to bolster their midfield ranks following the departure of Ander Herrera.
Swansea City winger Daniel James and Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff are reportedly closing in on deals, while Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez is also a target.
Meanwhile, De Ligt hinted he was close to penning a deal to join Barcelona earlier today when speaking to Voetbal Primeur while discussing Frankie de Jong’s move to the La Liga giants
“I think he had a great season. He deserves to sign for Barcelona,” De Ligt said.
“Play with him there? It would be good to play with Frenkie at a club.
“But in these moments I don’t know what will happen.”
And at the end of the season with Ajax he said: “Has it been my last game at the Johan Cruyff Arena? I do not know yet.
“There are conversations, but there is still no agreement. With who? The newspapers write, so choose one yourself.”