The last 12 – 18 hours have seen numerous reports emerge that Manchester United could be on the verge of signing Ajax’s Donny van de Beek. But what is fact and what is just speculation? Here’s what we know so far:
FACT: Van de Beek was left out of the Ajax squad for yesterday’s pre-season warm-up game against Eintracht Frankfurt.
FACT: Ajax head coach Erik Ten Hag confirmed that his omission was due to developments around a potential transfer. De Telegraaf quotes the coach as saying ‘There are indeed developments that prevent him from being part of the selection. We are looking at how that will end.’
FACT: Van de Beek is keen to move on. His comments recently to Fox Sports via The Mirror were: ‘Nothing is certain yet. I am still a player of Ajax and I am still proud to be there.
‘If there had not been the coronavirus, it might have been different now. There is no clarity now and we have to wait and see how it turns out.
‘I’m still here and after all these years I still have a lot of fun. If I also play at Ajax next season, I still have a lot of fun. You won’t hear me complaining.’
FACT: Ajax have agreed he can leave if their valuation is met. Ten Hag confirmed in April that ‘based on their performance and ambition, a number of our players also want to make the move abroad … Agreements have been made with Andre Onana, Donny van de Beek and Nicolás Tagliafico’.
FACT: Ten Hag also confirmed in the same Het Parool interview that the 23-year-old’s asking price would be reduced from the €55 million agreed with Real Madrid last summer, ‘but not by much’.
FACT: United have registered their interest in the player. Ajax’s CEO Edwin van der Sar said in a TV interview in June (via Transfermarkt.com) ‘It’s clear that clubs like Real Madrid and Man United are showing interest in Donny van de Beek.”
PROBABLY TRUE: United have been in talks for months. Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano tweeted yesterday ‘Manchester United are in contact with Donny Van de Beek agents by weeks – he’s been scouted for many months.’
PROBABLY TRUE: United have not yet made an official bid. This was also stated in the same tweet from Romano.
Manchester United are in contact with Donny Van de Beek agents by weeks – he’s been scouted for many months.
He’s considered an ‘opportunity’ but Ajax are still waiting to receive an official bid. Barcelona are denying any contact to sign Van de Beek. 🔴 #MUFC #ManUtd #vandebeek
PROBABLY TRUE: Van de Beek would prefer a Premier League move to Spain – this was claimed by Sky Sports via Fichajes.com, who said the Dutchman’s ‘wish would be to go to the Premier League, a competition in which he has had enormous interest from Manchester United…
‘Likewise, Real Madrid positioned themselves several months ago as an ideal option for Van de Beek, although his desire would be to go to the United Kingdom rather than to our league.’
PROBABLY TRUE: Barcelona have made no move for player. This was tweeted by FCB expert Gerard Romero yesterday and retweeted and confirmed by Romano.
— Gerard Romero (@gerardromero) August 29, 2020
MAYBE TRUE: Romano believes that the asking price for Van de Beek could now be as little as €40 million (£36m)
Donny Van de Beek would love to join Premier League and he’s waiting for an official bid after clubs have contacted his agents on last weeks. Ajax will let him leave if any club will match the price tag [around €40M]. 🔴 #vandebeek #transfers #ajax
JUST RUMOURS: Van de Beek refused to play yesterday’s friendly to force transfer and said he refuses to play for the club again. The original source of this social media rumour is unknown and it seems unlikely to be true.
UNKNOWN: What United will bid for the player and when remains unknown. Romano was asked this morning if a United bid was imminent, to which he replied ‘if any club will sign Van de Beek, I guess it will be ‘soon’ and you don’t have to wait like 30 days…’
The Times reported in June that a £36 million approach was being prepared by the Red Devils.
UNKNOWN: Another unknown is whether any other clubs are in for Van de Beek. Ultimately, Ten Hag’s confirmation that there is transfer business does not mean it is coming from United, but if Barcelona and Real Madrid are genuinely not going ahead, there are no other substantial rumours of any other club’s involvement, so it would be a surprise for a dark horse to emerge now.
Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood scored over 60 goals between them last season. But how much do you know about other strikers who played for the Red Devils over the years? Take our quiz below to find out.