Manchester United have reportedly moved into ‘pole position’ to complete a £40 million move for Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek.
The Holland international, who is capable of playing in a number of positions across midfield, has impressed for Ajax for a number of years, netting eight times and providing five assists in just 23 appearances last season prior to the Eredivisie abandonment, while he also starred as part of the side that made it to the Champions League semi-finals two seasons ago.
The 23-year-old has been linked with the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Spurs and Man Utd in recent months, though according to the Mirror, the Old Trafford outfit have now taken the lead in the race to sign the Netherlands international.
They claim that ‘Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has played a crucial role’ in trying to convince Van de Beek that his future is at Old Trafford, and the Premier League side have apparently ‘been given permission to hold further talks with the player in the next 48 hours’.
It looks like Van De Beek to United is edging closer.
Our favorite trait of his is how he freezes the keeper just before shooting. Delays his shot and leaves the keeper on his heels, and then slots it.
Calm, composed, clinical. A top signing.pic.twitter.com/D2HCiVfnkT
— Top Bins Talk (@TopBinsTalk) August 29, 2020
They add that the creative midfielder has informed the Dutch champions that he will not play for the club again, even withdrawing from Saturday’s friendly against Eintracht Frankfurt, subsequently confirmed by Ajax boss Erik ten Haag that his absence was due to ‘developments’ over his future.
“There have been some developments that made us decide us to keep him out of today’s squad,” Ten Haag told Ziggo sport.
“We will see what happens. We’ll make an announcement as soon as there’s some clarity.”
It is reported that Van de Beek would cost United around £40 million, a fee which would potentially represent a significant saving on Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish who has also been strongly linked in recent months.
The highly-rated midfielder would also ease the pressure on Bruno Fernandes, the Red Devils having already become overly reliant on the Portuguese’s creative talents since his January arrival.
Of course, with United’s record of dallying in the transfer market, it’s understandable to see some of their supporters being somewhat sceptical about such developments…
Van De Beek transfer apparently ‘imminent’ so translated into Man United context that means another 3 weeks of price haggling for the deal to fall through and be abandoned. Can’t wait ??? pic.twitter.com/Vyo3vPUxDt
— Red_Flag (@Red_Flag_UTD) August 29, 2020
United fans have of course already endured a lengthy and public pursuit of number one target Jadon Sancho, though are seemingly no closer to adding him to their squad.
Meanwhile, reports in Spain have suggested that Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman will not be making a move for his compatriot, the former Everton boss instead keen on signing Gini Wijnaldum from Liverpool.