Dutch midfielder would be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first signing of the summer transfer window
Last Updated: 30/08/20 9:03pm
Manchester United are close to reaching an agreement to sign Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek.
The club have scouted Van de Beek extensively, with the player left out of Ajax’s squad for the Dutch champions’ friendly with Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday amid rumours of an imminent move away.
In May, Ajax chief executive Edwin van der Sar confirmed the midfielder will be allowed to leave, but only for a suitable fee.
Van de Beek was close to joining Real Madrid prior to the coronavirus pandemic, but he did not complete a medical or sign an agreement with the club.
The Transfer Show also reported on Monday there was a preference for any deal involving him to be completed before Ajax kick off their new season in the Dutch Eredivisie against Sparta Rotterdam on September 13.
Sky Sports’ Charlotte Marsh…
Donny van de Beek is a man in demand, but why has he garnered so much attention?
With incredible versatility, Van de Beek can operate in a central or attacking role and has been described as the classic box-to-box midfielder.
The 23-year-old has the ability to play anywhere across the middle – a trait that will only increase his value – and as well as being that vital link between defence and attack, he is more offensively minded than other central midfield players.
He has developed that special talent of making late runs into the area to latch onto forward passes, catching out even the most astute of defenders.
But he is also not afraid of sitting deep and doing the hard work when he needs to. According to WhoScored.com, Van de Beek makes an average of two tackles per game in the Eredivisie – the fourth highest in the Ajax squad – and can help out in a more defensive role when needed.
Even fellow countryman and former Ajax assistant manager Dennis Bergkamp had him pegged as a special talent at a young age.
In quotes carried by the Daily Mail, Frank de Boer, who Bergkamp worked under at the club, recalled: “Dennis started talking enthusiastically about a talent in his youth team. It was a boy who reminded Dennis of himself at that age. That was the signal for me to keep an eye on that guy. That was Donny.”
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The summer transfer window will run for 10 weeks from July 27 and close at 11pm on October 5.
A domestic-only window for trades between the Premier League and EFL then runs from October 5 and closes on Friday, October 16 at 5pm. Follow all the news and analysis on Sky Sports News and across Sky Sports‘ digital platforms, including with our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.