Ajax confirm that Donny van de Beek will be allowed to leave the club this summer – reports

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.

Donny van de Beek attracting other clubs which could see Manchester United miss out – reports

Manchester United could miss out on signing Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek as Newcastle United have an interest in signing the player, according to reports. The 23-year-old has been on United’s radar for the last year after making a name for himself after his performances in the UEFA Champions League last season with Ajax reaching the semi-finals.

Reports coming out of France via Le10Sport report that the Magpies are interested in signing the player with their takeover deal close to completion and the club seeking to become one of the big clubs in the Premier League with a massive cash injection to increase the quality of players at the club.

The 23-year-old is valued at around £44 million, according to the reports, which is a good fee for a player with his ability and career ahead of him. If Newcastle’s takeover is completed they could be bankrolled by Saudi-backers with them becoming the richest club in the Premier League, based on the money available to the clubs owners.

Newcastle have also been linked to another player who has previously been linked to United – Kalidou Koulibaly. Napoli would want upwards of £90 million for the central defender this summer, something United could afford but the money would be better spent in attacking options with United possibly seeking a cheaper alternative in defence.

It is even suggested that Newcastle could be seeking former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino or even a return to the club for Rafael Benitez as the clubs manager, replacing Steve Bruce. Van de Beek is a player that many United supporters wanted the club to sign last summer, but he decided to stay put at Ajax.

At the time, Paul Pogba had told the media that he wanted another challenge, seemingly wanting to leave United and speculation was rife. However, the Frenchman did not leave the club which negated United seeking to sign another midfielder – although with the injuries to the midfield this season, it may have been a good but for United.

This season, which seems to have ended for the Erdivisie club, Van de Beek has made a total of 37 appearances in all competitions, scoring 10 goals and assisting a further 11 – playing a total of 3,171 minutes of football. Ajax could have won their 35th Eredivisie title this season, instead, no club will be awarded the title in the Netherlands.

United will have many other options if the 23-year-old signs for another club this summer, not that he has been linked to the club for a while, but could be a contender should Pogba leave for pastures new. United have been hotly linked to Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho, Aston Villa attacking midfielder Jack Grealish. Van de Beek’s agent has spoken about interest, saying:

“The interest has been – and that is also known – for a long time and from several clubs.

“We will see what will come out of that in the coming weeks. I dare not say anything about it at the moment. I can’t say anything about it because a number of things are just confidential.

“The situation will have changed for each club and we have to look closely at that.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will likely have other midfield targets if he needs to make a move but new addition Bruno Fernandes, who signed for the club in January has done well so far and seems to be solving United’s lack of creativity, scoring three goals and four assists in his nine appearances so far. This could be a big summer for United, and every other club.

Manchester United seeking Edwin van der Sar for the director of football role – reports

Edwin van der Sar is reportedly on Manchester United wishlist in their search for a director of football. The former Netherlands goalkeeper was signed by Sir Alex Ferguson in the summer of 2005, becoming a big figure at the club, ending his career at the Old Trafford club with a good trophy haul. United signed David De Gea to replace the Dutchman.

The 48-year-old is currently the chief executive at Ajax in his native Netherlands and has gained a ‘glowing reputation’ for his work at the club. Van der Sar is also a highly-respected figure on the board of the European Club Association. It would be one of the best things to happen at the club in recent times if this was to pay off.

Over the past nine months or so, following the sacking of Jose Mourinho, it was reported that the clubs executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward would be seeking to appoint a director of football, having the time to do so before the summer transfer window, which was an important time for the club to launch yet another rebuilding project.

However, after reports of this happening, nothing materialised other than Darren Fletcher and Rio Ferdinand being linked, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer then being appointed as the permanent manager of the club in March and talk of a director of football being sidelined. Nicky Butt did step into a new role dealing with firstteam development in the academy.

Woodward is now of the suggestion that an experienced person in this role is needed in order to identify transfer targets for Solskjaer with his plans to rebuild the club, putting back on the road to glory by signing talented youth prospects rather than readymade superstars, which is something that has not worked recently.

The 48-year-old is aware that he is on United’s list to recruit for the role and may face a dilemma if his former club came calling. Ajax has just returned to an elite status in European football, having a £220 million budget following departures from the club in order to rebuild. It could be seen as a negative, him walking out on the club right now.

However, it could be seen as wanting to grow and take on a much bigger challenge, which is what this would be at United, especially taking control over transfer dealing from Woodward, if that is going to be part of this, which is why the club is in its current position, him not knowing the game all that well, or how to sign players that will fit into the team.

Van der Sar’s wife has suffered some health problems in the past, which has stopped him leaving the Netherlands. However, after the brain haemorrhage that Annemarie van der Sar suffered in 2009, she is in a much better condition now although it could still be too early for him to leave the country. United would need to test the water.

The former United goalkeeper had a role in the development of Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt and has some great contacts in the game, something that United would benefit from, especially in line with bettering the squad so they can contend with the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Arsenal.

Donny van de Beek interested in playing in the Premier League with Manchester United a possible destination

Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek is reportedly interested in a move to the Premier League this summer with either Manchester United or Tottenham Hotspur both mentioned. This comes from Dutch football expert, Marcel van der Kraan, who was talking to talkSPORT on Monday morning.

The 22-year-old was pivotal for Ajax last season, helping his club to win the Eredivisie title and come close to the UEFA Champions League, beaten in the last seconds of the game by Spurs, who were beaten in the final by Liverpool. Van de Beek played a total of 57 matches for Ajax last season, scoring 17 goals, assisting 14 more – averaging a goal every 242 minutes.

The player signed a new contract with the Dutch champions in January 2018, which runs for another three years. Current reports suggest that the player is linked to Spurs for £45 million with the manager, Mauricio Pochettino thinking that he could be a good replacement for Christian Eriksen, who has stated his desire to leave the North London club this summer.

The 22-year-old could also be seen as a replacement for Paul Pogba at United if the Frenchman does leave the club this summer with Real Madrid and Juventus both interested in the FIFA World Cup-winning midfielder. Speaking on the Alan Brazil Breakfast Show on talkSPORT on Monday morning, Van der Kraan, said:

“Donny van de Beek has his eyes set on the Premier League.

“I think he’s a proper Premier League player – he’s got a big tank, he’s got the education from Ajax, he can play in more positions in midfield.

“I think he’s got his eyes set on a club like Manchester United or Tottenham Hotspur.

“I’ve been talking to his agent, and he said if that would materialise it would be something right up his street.”

Barcelona has also been mentioned amongst the number of clubs interested in Van der Beek this summer. They have already signed Ajax teammate Frenkie de Jong, a deal which was completed in January with the player moving to the Catalan club from the 1 July 2019. They are also in the running to sign defender Matthijs de Ligt this summer with United apparently ruling themselves out of the battle for the talented defender.

The 22-year-old spoke about the links to Barcelona after the UEFA Nations League final, in which the Netherlands were beaten by Portugal, which brought an end to the season. Van de Beek suggested that it was not true, which makes you wonder what is going to happen. He did, however, say that he was happy at Ajax, as all players at current clubs end up saying. Van de Beek said:

“It’s not true that they have asked about me, a lot of things have come out in the newspapers, but I don’t know anything. I have a contract and we will see what happens, but I am happy at Ajax.

“Of course it’s nice that my name is linked with Barcelona, but I have to play more and be better and better. Later, we will see what happens in the future. You never what could happen in the summer.”

The Dutch international came through the youth ranks at Ajax, starting his career playing for Jong Ajax in the Eerste Divisie. Between the 2014/15 and 2016/17 seasons, he made a total of 35 appearances, scoring eight goals. The 22-year-old made his debut at senior level during the 2015/16 season, playing for two seasons in both teams. He has since played 130 times for Ajax, scoring 29 goals.

The player is a central midfielder but has a more offensive role within a team. Van de Beek has excellent control of the ball and a great eye for passing. He links up with the more attacking players and is dangerous inside the box. Former Ajax captain, Joël Veltman once stated that Van de Beek “works very hard and can play between the lines.” This all sounds very good, especially for a team like United, who are currently rebuilding.

The player has not suffered many injuries whilst playing senior level football, so there are no problems that anyone should be worrying about. However, it does not mean he cannot get injured. Predominantly playing as a central midfielder, the player can play as an attacking midfielder, behind the striker, which would bode well for United, especially if they miss out on Bruno Fernandes this summer.

Manchester United have offered more money to sign Matthijs de Ligt but Barcelona likely to sign the Dutchman

Manchester United has been linked to Ajax teenage defender Matthijs de Ligt for some time now, however, Barcelona are the likeliest club to sign him. It would be great if United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could land a player like de Ligt this summer and I would love to be proven wrong but I just think Barcelona signing him is a no brainer.

Granted, there is a rebuild going on at United, as there has been for the past six years now and for de Ligt, it could be beneficial for his career, if it all worked out at the Theatre of Dreams. Barcelona has a rebuild going on also but not near as big as the one United will need to oversee, starting this summer.

Reports from Spanish publication Sport, as reported by Sport Witness, now put United in the driving seat, in effect, to lure the player this summer. The Dutch teenager has been told through the publication to show a ‘change of attitude’ and stop asking for more money from the Catalan club. You would never have thought this from a Mino Raiola client, would you?

That said, Raiola has been banned by FIFA from operating as an agent for three months, which adds further mystery when wondering who is representing his clients, some of which are tipped to be moving clubs this summer. Maybe more on that will come out as the summer window progresses. We may even see that all of his clients stay put at their current clubs because of the said ban. That might show the media up around the world.

It has been suggested that United have offered de Ligt a €14 million a year contract package which will not be matched by the Catalan club. After the sux summer transfer windows which have passed, thinking about Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, and others, United’s name might just be being used to drive up the money Barcelona might offer the player, seeing it as a compromise between the player and the Catalan club with Ed Woodward’s pants being pulled down once again, which is why I am not optimistic of this transfer.

However, if de Ligt does in fact what to play for United over Barcelona, if they did not offer him the same contractual package, the transfer would be great news for both the club and the supporters. The Dutchman has shown leadership at Ajax in their UEFA Champions League run this season, showing the same leadership skills a long time before. That is not something United currently has in their entire squad, which is something that will need to be added in the summer.

There have been reports in the English media with The Sun reporting that United has been ‘given hope’ in the chase for de Ligt. The Mirror reported that de Ligt has been ‘given transfer ultimatum’ as Ajax exit beckons. The Metro has suggested that despite the player rejecting an offer from United weeks ago, he is now considering a revised offer from the Old Trafford club. There seems to be a story building, one of Chinese whisper more than anything else?

It would be great if United could get de Ligt to sign for the club this summer as his presence in defence, maybe alongside Victor Lindelof, would strengthen the defence and add some great leadership to the squad, which is needed going forward. A failure to address this would just ensure more stagnation as it is clear that the majority of the current squad lack the leadership ability to carry the club forward.

Daley Blind leaves Manchester United for Ajax on a four-year deal

Daley Blind has left Manchester United for a return to Ajax, four years after making the move from his hometown club. United signed Blind for £13.8 million in the summer of 2014, with United then being managed by Louis van Gaal. Blind was a good signing at the time, based on the fact he could play as a left-back, a left wing-back, a central defender or even a defensive midfielder. The 28-year-old made a total of 141 appearances for United, starting 132 times and coming off the bench nine times, scoring six goals for his club.

Blind made his debut on the 14 September 2014 with United beating Queens Park Rangers 4-0 at Old Trafford in the Premier League. His first goal for his club came just over a month later in a 2-2 draw against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns with the Dutchman scoring the goal which earned a point for United, three minutes from time. He scored his United second goal that season, against West Ham United at Upton Park, a 92nd-minute equaliser, earning another point for United on the road.

The following season (2015/16), Blind scored two more goals; the opening goal in the 3-1 Premier League victory over Liverpool at Old Trafford and the second goal in a 3-1 victory over Derby County at Pride Park in the fourth round of the FA Cup. During the 2016/17 season, Blind scored once, the opening goal in the 3-1 Premier League victory over Sunderland at Old Trafford on Boxing Day, the same match that Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored his scorpion kick goal. Blind scored his last United goal against Benfica in the UEFA Champions League last season.

During his short career at United, Blind has achieved a lot. Under Louis van Gaal, United won the Emirates FA Cup, beating Crystal Palace at Wembley at the end of the 2015/16 season, Blind’s second season at the club. With Van Gaal being sacked shortly after that victory, which brought the club their first major honour post-Sir Alex Ferguson, paving the way for Jose Mourinho to become the new manager. In Mourinho’s first season, not only did United win the FA Community Shield, but the EFL Cup and the UEFA Europa League were won.

Blind was a crucial player in the Europa League final in Stockholm, Sweden, against his former club, now current club. The Dutchman is a player that had many supporters at the club, myself included. Last season, he made 17 appearances in all competitions, 14 as a starting player, scoring once. For a player of his capabilities, it was not enough and despite his contract being extended by a further year, which was an option from his original contract, it was clear the player would seek an exit from the club.

Ajax has signed a player who they already trust to deliver for the club. A player, who despite already having a lot of experience before leaving four years ago, returns with even more. Blind will be missed at the Old Trafford club but if a player is not in the plans of the manager, keeping them would in effect be pointless. It was reported on Monday that Blind had met up with Ajax at St George’s Park, whilst on their training camp this summer with United confirming that the player was on the move on Monday evening, confirming the departure today.

Using his Facebook and Twitter accounts to pay respect to the Old Trafford club, his teammates, the manager, coaches and more importantly, the supporters, Blind gave a statement of thanks for his incredible time at the club which resulted in him winning four trophies, three of them being major honours. The Dutchman said:

“First of all, I want to say how proud I am to be a part of the Manchester United family. To play for the biggest club in the world with such a history meant a lot to me. I had four great years with four trophies!

“I want to thank everyone, the Managers, coaches, the medical department, everyone who helped me to settle in so quick at the beginning, of course, my teammates and last but definitely not least the fans! I want to thank you for all the love and support I received and still get.

“I will never forget some of the special games and moments, I will miss you ‘The Theatre of Dreams’! But now its time to go home.”

Ajax, in the United Kingdom as part of their pre-season tour, made the announcement in a tremendous way, using the Three Lions song to announce; ‘He’s coming home, he’s coming home, he’s coming, Daley’s coming home’. You can see the video embedded below. Blind has signed a four-year contract with his former club, with a transfer fee being confirmed as €16 million. Ajax will play both Wolverhampton Wanderers and Walsall on Thursday, ahead of their UEFA Champions League qualifier against Sturm Graz with a home friendly against Konyaspor sandwiched in between.

Daley Blind agrees terms with Ajax; Manchester United want €17 million this summer…

Manchester United defender Daley Blind has reportedly agreed terms with Ajax ahead of a move back to the Amsterdam club. The reports which come from Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, which is something that has been reported for the past five days or so. United are reportedly wanting €17 million for Blind to leave the club this summer. His contract would have expired this summer but United activated the one-year clause in the contract, keeping him at the club until next summer, presumably in order to receive a fee for him this year.

On the 2nd July, Sport Witness reported, from De Telegraaf, that Ajax were interested in re-signing the 28-year-old this summer. It was a big story in the Dutch newspaper that day with reports carried on the front page of the paper. Ajax recently sold Justin Kluivert to Roma, signing Dusan Tadic from Southampton earlier in the summer. It was suggested that Blind had told United that he wanted to return to Ajax this summer and his request was heard by the club. However, his exit will be on their terms, not his or Ajax’s.

Blind would have to take a pay cut to leave United, he knows that and will seemingly do that in order to return and play football. The player has been out of Jose Mourinho’s plans for a year now and is not likely to play himself back into them. Blind was an exciting signing four years ago and one who was seen as a utilitarian, being that he could play in the centre of defence, as a left-back, a left-wing-back, or even in a central defensive midfield role. However, the landscape at United has changed since then, seeing Louis van Gaal being sacked and Mourinho replacing him.

On Friday, The Sun carried an article about Blind, which was more negative in the view of United which seemed to suggest that the Old Trafford club adding the one-year clause onto Blind’s contract would cost them nearly £5 million. It is not the first time that the newspaper has been negatively reporting things related to Manchester United. It won’t be the last time either. United stories are the bread and butter of this newspaper and many others. It is like nobody wants to read about any other club.

So far this summer, United have only let one experienced player leave and that is Sam Johnstone, who signed for West Bromwich Albion earlier in the week with United signing Lee Grant from Stoke City to be the third choice goalkeeper for the club, with Joel Pereira expected to leave the club on loan for the upcoming season. United will want to get rid of both Blind and Matteo Darmian with reports going in favour of both players leaving this summer, also going against – these journalists have to cover every eventuality so they can say they were right!

Manchester United joined by Spurs and Roma in the chase for Justin Kluivert

Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, and Roma are all interested in signing Ajax forward Justin Kluivert this summer, according to reports. The 19-year-old has 12 months left on his current contract this summer and has confirmed that he will not be renewing at the Dutch club. This has led to reports that he will leave this summer, or possible on a free in a years time. It is obvious that some of the biggest clubs in Europe will be interested in signing the attacking player, who has shown his skills and abilities at the club over the years.

Kluivert spoke to Dutch news source Volkskrant last week confirming that he would not sign a new deal with the club, suggesting that it has not been the best period of his life. He stated that Ajax tried to sell him to Spurs, all without his knowledge, something which he said he heard at the last minute. It does not seem to make him sound too happy at the club, which is something that will reinforce the rumours that suggest he will leave. Kluivert said:

“I’m not renewing my contract at Ajax. Too much has happened. The decreasing morale, lack of confidence, trying to sell me to Tottenham without me knowing. I heard about that at the last minute. That says nothing about Ajax, but about the people in the club.”

France Football has claimed that Serie A club Roma are now monitoring the situation and it has been suggested that the club has been in contact with the player’s agent, Mino Raiola. Eusebio di Francesco’s team finished third in the league this season, therefore offering UEFA Champions League football next season. Both Spurs and United can offer the player the same though, so it may not be a battle that seems obvious right now. Kluivert will go to the club that offers him the best route to playing time.

The report by The Sun states that Jose Mourinho will look to sign Kluivert if Anthony Martial leaves the club this summer. It is funny how his name keeps popping up in transfer rumours. Many blame Mourinho for the fact Martial was not picked by France for the FIFA World Cup this summer, which is pathetic as when Martial has played, he does not offer much to the side. On Saturday, after coming on in the FA Cup final, the performance the Frenchman gave was pathetic and suggested all was not right.

If Martial had put in the effort when it was needed this season, it could have been a different story for him. It is said that Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, and Juventus are all monitoring Martial’s situation this summer, and he does have the time to sort out a transfer, after his holidays, if that is something he wants to do. It would be a shame to see him leave the club, but that will be on him, not United.

Kluivert player 30 times for Ajax this season, scoring ten goals. He is a talent and one which would be raw in places. Not a ready-made player to step into the limelight. United need experience this summer, which is something midfielder Nemanja Matic has called for, but a mixture of youth and experience is the right thing for the club. United’s experienced players, well some of them, have let the club down this season with Mourinho having players he trusts in his team, also some that he doesn’t.

This summer is going to be an important one for United, one that will need to be conducted correctly. The manager will need to be backed by the club and by the fans. Some fans want a chance of manager, which would set the club back a few years again with a whole new philosophy and a way of doing things to be learned, players to come and go and a period of transition to start again. United need stability more than ever right now, with some patience from the supporters to be added too, not discontent from far away fans who spend little or nothing to support the club.

Manchester United interested in Ajax star but a club legend is attempting to block the deal

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is reportedly interested in signing Ajax star Justin Kluivert. The 18-year-old is the son of Patrick Kluivert and seems to have the potential to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world. There was some speculation just under a year ago after United beat Ajax 2-0 in the final of the UEFA Europa League when Mourinho spoke to the then 17-year-old about his performance, which meant two and two must be put together to make five.

Kluivert has risen as one of the prospects from the Netherlands and a player that the many clubs will have their eye on, some just because of who his father was and how good he was. The player has been offered a new deal to remain at Ajax this summer, a deal which would make him the highest paid player at the Amsterdam club. However, reports suggest that Kluivert is ready to turn down the offer from his club and seek a career elsewhere, which could be some coup.

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, now the chief executive officer at Ajax has become involved, urging the 18-year-old to remain at the club to continue his development. At 18, the ceiling height in the Netherlands may seem low, especially when a player has a considerable amount of talent, despite it being raw, playing in one of the top leagues in Europe may help develop the player even more. Getting a deal for the player early may be some good business for United, even if they have to wait for him to develop fully.

This season, Kluivert has made a total of 34 appearances in all competitions for Ajax, playing a total of 2,540 minutes of football. He has scored ten times, assisting a further five goals. At his age, this will be great experience for him. Kluivert is a forward who has predominantly played on the left flank but can play on the right, an area that United need to find a proficient player for. Kluivert being just 18 is not really a big deal, especially if a move happens and he adapts in the Premier League.

Kluivert offers a lot to his team. Defensively, (per 90 minutes) he averages 1.1 tackles, 0.3 interceptions, and 0.1 clearances. In an attacking sense, which is what he does better, the 18-year-old offers an average (per 90 minutes) of 2.6 shots, 1.6 key passes, 2.7 dribbles, losing the ball due to a bad touch 2.5 times. He is fouled 1.4 times, dispossessed 1.3 times and is found offside 0.1 times. His passing is 87.2%, which for an attacking player is very good.

I would like to see Tahith Chong come into the Manchester United first team before I saw another player in a similar position brought into the club, especially a young player but Kluivert will be a player who will have the eyes of all of the top clubs in Europe and if United are first to make a deal for the 18-year-old, it could be a coup for the Old Trafford club. There is obviously a lot that needs to happen before anything can come of this rumour, not to mention the fact that Mino Raiola is the player’s agent, which might be a disadvantage.

Paul Pogba: We went out focused to win and we won for Manchester and the country

Manchester United did what everyone, well not everyone, but you know what I mean, wanted them to do on Wednesday evening in Stockholm, they beat Ajax 2-0 to lift the UEFA Europa League – the only major honour United have not won in their amazing trophy-laden history. It was not the best European final the club have been involved in, especially with what happened in Manchester on Monday evening, which deflated the spirits from the evening, and most of the week. United have qualified for the UEFA Champions League next season too, straight into the group stages, with Liverpool, who finished two places above them in the Premier League, having to go through the play-off round and Arsenal, who just finished above United, having to play in the UEFA Europa League next season, on a Thursday night – something their fans have been mocking all season. At least they will not be knocked out of the Champions League in the round of 16 stage by Bayern Munich next season, that must be a relief.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored eleven goals in all competitions this season, scoring in five matches in the UEFA Europa League all away from Old Trafford, making history for his club. Speaking about his goal, the Armenian said:

“Without them, I couldn’t score many goals. I’m really happy that I scored today in the final because everyone kept saying ‘you’re going to score in the final’. After the last game, when we played against Celta Vigo in the second leg, I was dreaming every day that I would score in the final. So thanks to my team-mates. I’m very happy.”

Paul Pogba, the scorer of the opening goal in Sweden spoke about winning the trophy for Manchester, saying:

“We did it. We are very proud. Nobody can talk. They said we had a bad season but we have three trophies [including the Community Shield]. The start was important and after the goals we controlled the game. It was a great performance from everybody in the team.”

Speaking about the terrible attack in Manchester on Monday night, Pogba said:

“These things are terrible all over the world, in London and in Paris. We went out focused to win and we won for Manchester and the country.”

Juan Mata spoke about the victory, also mentioning the difficult week Manchester has faced, saying:

“It’s massive for us. We had the chance of coming here to win the trophy for the first time and be in the Champions League next season. We’ve done that. We wanted to win this as well for the city of Manchester and we bring the trophy back. We know it was a very difficult week for the city of Manchester and we are happy to win for all of the people that have suffered.”

Ander Herrera was named Man of the Match by BT Sport for his performance against Ajax, he also spoke about winning the cup for his club, also dedicating the win for the city of Manchester, calling for no more attacks and no more deaths, which was a respectful way to end his comment:

“We are very happy but I want to dedicate the trophy to the victims. This is just football but what happened the other day was horrible. We want peace in the world. We are just footballers but we have an audience and I just want to say we should work together for a normal world. This happened in Manchester but everywhere you have to be united to fight for peace and respect. No more attacks and no more deaths please.”

Herrera continued by saying:

“Yesterday morning we were devastated. We were really sad because when you think about life and football, you have no voice. It was difficult to train but the manager told us the only thing we could do was to win it for them, and that’s what we’ve done. It’s just a football game, just a trophy, but if we can support them with this just one percent, it’s enough for us.”

The Spanish midfielder also reflected on the season as a whole, suggesting they could not talk about it unless they ended with this trophy being raised in the Swedish capital, which was what United did on the night, beating Ajax 2-0. Herrera said:

“It was the game of the season because we couldn’t talk about a good season if we didn’t win it. We can now talk about a great season because we have three trophies and are in the Champions League next season.”

copyright: JW