Ajax’s CEO Edwin Van der Sar has confirmed that the club expects Donny Van de Beek to leave this summer.
Manchester United are one of a number of clubs who have been chasing the talented midfielder, who is around the top of the list of potential replacements should Paul Pogba leave.
The Dutchman was reported to have been close to a move to Real Madrid last summer but the deal did not take place, reportedly partly because Pogba remained los Blancos preferred target and those negotiations took priority.
It was also widely reported that the Spanish giants struck a pre-contract agreement with Van de Beek to sign him this summer, although this has since been denied by the player.
It has been a confusing situation but now former United goalkeeper Van der Sar has confirmed the circumstances surrounding the 23-year-old.
‘Last year, we made verbal agreements with [Andre] Onana, [Nicolas] Tagliafico, Van de Beek to stay another season and then we look to help each other and find the next step in their careers’ the CEO said.
Speaking to Reuters, Van der Sar also warned buying clubs that there would be no huge discounts to be had on Ajax players as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
‘The big clubs such as Bayern Munich have said the benchmark fee will go down in the next few transfer windows. But it’s easier for them to say because they are the buyers’ he said.
‘Of course, the €150m-€200m (£131m-£175m) transfers are gone. But I think there is still a lot of value for players who come from Ajax. Well educated, experienced in winning and playing European football.’
Ajax’s asking price for Van de Beek is reported to be around £47 million.
It is believed that Real Madrid remains Van de Beek’s preferred destination but los Blancos have reportedly dropped interest in the player after a fine season from Federico Valverde and loanee Martin Odegaard, who will return to the Bernabeu from Real Sociedad at the end of the current season.
United will probably only make a move for the attacking midfielder if Pogba does leave, which remains a situation that is embroiled in mystery.
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