Manchester United are closing in on their first signing of the transfer window after agreeing a fee with Ajax for midfielder Donny Van De Beek.
The Dutch international was all set for a move to the Bernabeu when he agreed terms with the club earlier this year, but the deal was scuppered after Real Madrid pulled the plug following the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was then reported that the player had become a top target for Madrid’s fierce rivals Barcelona following the appointment of former Holland manager Ronald Koeman. However after Van De Beek was pulled from a friendly game for Ajax this weekend due to advancements in a deal, Barcelona sources ruled out their involvement citing that Gini Wijnaldum had been prioritised instead.
That has allowed Manchester United, who have been monitoring the midfielder for several months, to step in and swoop to secure a deal for a reported fee of around €40million.
Van De Beek will sign a five-year deal with the Red Devils and is expected to put pen to paper on the contract in the coming week.
A box-to-box midfielder, VdB is an energetic playmaker who’s best position is as an advanced midfielder. He has an eye for goal, as shown in his appearances against Tottenham, Chelsea and Juventus in the Champions League over the last two campaigns. He’s got a good eye for a pass too with 7 assists added to his 14 goals this season but he’s not shy defensively either. As noted in this article written in June, Van De Beek stands up statistically alongside United’s defensive midfield options Nemanja Matic and Fred.
United’s midfield is now stacked with good options as the Dutchman joins Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Nemanja Matic, Fred and Scott McTominay in Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s plans. It’s possible that one of those leaves, with Fred reportedly a target for Turkish giants Galatasaray.
Red Devils fans will now be hoping the club can press on quickly with other targets as Jadon Sancho is still reportedly keen on a move to Old Trafford while the club have reportedly registered their interest in Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara in recent days as Liverpool stall on meeting the €30million asking price.