Manchester United have renewed their interest in Ajax’s Donny Van de Beek and are ready to challenge for his signature this summer.
According to The Sunday Times and Dutch outlet De Telegraaf, United’s executive vice chairman Ed Woodward thinks he can get the talented 23-year-old for a reduced price amid the financial uncertainty caused by the coronavirus crisis.
The Dutchman was reported to have been close to a move to Real Madrid last summer but the deal did not take place, partly because Paul Pogba remained los Blancos preferred target and those negotiations took priority.
It was also widely reported that the Spanish giants agreed the outline of a €55 million (about £49 million) deal with the player to join this summer, although this was denied by the midfielder.
Former United goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar, now CEO of Ajax, confirmed that an agreement had been reached with the midfielder to stay in Holland for one more season before moving on.
‘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.
But the change in circumstances has left Real Madrid highly unlikely to sanction a circa £50 million deal for a player who is not their priority and this leaves an opportunity for Woodward to pounce.
‘Having looked into signing Van de Beek last August, United are now seriously examining him as a target again — though Woodward may look to try to secure a deal at closer to the £36 million mark’ The Sunday Times’ Jonathan Norcroft writes.
‘Woodward and Van der Sar have a good relationship though any cordiality — should United press ahead with a move for the player — may be tested by their different valuations.’
Van der Sar recently warned that there would be no major discounts on Alax players this summer and their valuation of Van de Beek remains the same £49 million discussed with Real.
The issue with Van be Beek – as with Jack Grealish and Kai Havertz – is where he would fit in a Manchester United lineup that includes Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes if the former stays at the club, which is looking increasingly likely.
Strength in depth is important to the club but it will be hard for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to keep players of that standard happy if they are forced to rotate and fight for their place in the side on an ongoing basis.
However, that would be a nice problem to have and signing a player of Van de Beek’s quality for anything under £50 million would represent a fantastic piece of business for the Old Trafford club.
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