An expensive Man Utd signing’s nightmare stint at Old Trafford could soon end, with Fabrizio Romano confirming exit options will be explored, while a second source has named the likeliest move.
It’s fair to say Man Utd have a chequered record in the transfer market in the post-Ferguson era. Erik ten Hag is doing his bit to reverse that trend and the likes of Lisandro Martinez, Christian Eriksen and Casemiro have all been roaring successes so far.
However, the Dutchman’s squad still possesses many mistake signings from previous managers and among the biggest offenders in that regard is Donny Van de Beek.
The former Ajax midfielder, 26, was a £35m (plus £5m in add-ons) signing under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer back in 2020.
Van de Beek arrived with a reputation of being a classy and composed playmaker. However, United already possessed an elite-level No 10 in the form of Bruno Fernandes.
As such, it came as no surprise to see Van de Beek marginalised in his first season at Old Trafford. Unfortunately for the Dutchman, his situation never improved.
On the contrary, Van de Beek’s lack of action at Man Utd subsequently saw him overlooked by the Netherlands for the World Cup in Qatar.
A serious knee injury suffered one month later in January then ruled Van de Beek out for the second half of the season at club level.
The arrival of fellow Dutchman Ten Hag was expected to breathe new life into Van de Beek’s career in Manchester. That has simply not transpired, and per Fabrizio Romano, the end could be near.
The transfer guru tweeted Van de Beek “will explore options on the market in the next weeks”. Romano then stated the midfielder “could leave Man Utd”.
Van de Beek reportedly “loves” both the club and Ten Hag who was his manager during their Ajax days. However, the need for regular minutes – which he’s unlikely to ever get at Man Utd – is forcing him to weigh up leaving.
Where will Van de Beek go?
The Sun recently claimed the anticipated arrival of Mason Mount at Old Trafford could accelerate Van de Beek’s exit. Mount has agreed personal terms with the Red Devils, though there’s still work to be done over the fee with Chelsea.
On the subject of where Van de Beek might go, a United source told the Sun: “Donny just hasn’t settled so he will move in the summer, most likely to Europe where he will look to rebuild and then go again.”
Everton have been linked with Van de Beek in the past, as have Serie A giant and Champions League finalist, Inter Milan.
If the Sun are correct, a move to mainland Europe and out of the Premier League is on the cards. The obvious destination would be a return to his native Netherlands if one of the country’s big three (Ajax, PSV, Eindhoven, Feyenoord) are willing to take a punt.
Any Dutch clubs bar those three are extremely unlikely to be able to afford to type of wages Van de Beek would command – even if he does accept a sizeable pay-cut.
The alternative is a loan spell, though a clean severing of ties makes the most sense for United and potentially the player too.