Ajax chief executive officer, Edwin van der Sar has confirmed that 23-year-old Donny van de Beek will be allowed to leave the Dutch club this summer. The former United goalkeeper, however, stated that the player would not leave the club on the cheap following the coronavirus pandemic which has suspended world football.
United were linked to the midfielder last summer amid the uncertainty surrounding the future of French midfielder Paul Pogba, however, with the player remaining at the Old Trafford club, United did not need to attempt to sign the player. With that uncertainty still surrounding the player this summer, they may make a move for Van de Beek.
This season in the Eredivisie, Van de Beek has played a total of 37 times in all competitions, scoring 10 goals and assisting a further 11, which is a good rate for the midfielder. The Eredivisie was cancelled at the end of April after the Dutch Government cancelled all sporting events until at least September. There were no champions, relegations or promotion.
Van der Sar has stated that the Dutch club values the players highly who reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League last season, Van de Beek being just one of those. It is suggested that the 23-year-old could also be a target for the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus, who are both seeking to better their squads ahead of the new season. Van Der Sar, speaking to Reuters, said:
“In January last year, people said we were going to lose seven or eight players but we lost only two key members.
“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.
“Of course, the €150 million – €200 million (£131 million – £175 million) 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.
“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.
“Nothing has changed. There won’t be a 50% discount. The clubs can forget about that.”
Hakim Ziyech was sold to Chelsea earlier this year for £36 million with the player leaving the Dutch side this summer for the London club. United could try and do a similar deal but it has been reported that Van de Beek would prefer to move to Spain, which is something that United would need to venture to see if it was true.
That said though, unless Pogba does end up leaving the Old Trafford club this summer, it would seem unlikely that another midfielder would be brought into the club, unless they specialised as a defensive midfielder, which is something that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will need to sign sooner or later with Nemanja Matic not getting any younger, despite a rise in form.
United find themselves with a rather strong midfield at this moment in time with Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Scott McTominay, Fred and Matic as the experienced members of the position with the liked of James Garner and Dylan Levitt coming through from the U23s – although them spending a season away from the club on loan would be good for them.
Van de Beek joined the Ajax academy back in 2008 and played for Jong Ajax in the Eerste Divisie for three seasons from the 2014/15 season, making a total of 35 appearances, scoring eight goals and 10 assists. However, he made his Ajax debut in the Eredivisie during the 2015/16 season, playing at both levels until the end of the 2016/17 season, and to date has made 175 appearances, scoring 41 goals, assisting a further 34.