Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Game over for costly Man Utd signing as ruthless Ratcliffe slashes price by 75 per cent to attract new club

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is on a mission to offload the unwanted players at Manchester United

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is on a mission to offload the unwanted players at Manchester United

Manchester United chief Sir Jim Ratcliffe has informed Donny van de Beek he has no future at Old Trafford with his a new lowly price now on his head and a surprise summer move to one of the player’s former clubs starting to take shape.

The Dutch midfielder was a £35m signing in the autumn of 2020, with then-boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer bringing him in from Ajax to safeguard Manchester United against their expected loss of Paul Pogba. However, while Pogba ultimately left as a free agent two years later, it was soon evidentally clear that Van de Beek was not of the standards required to succeed at Old Trafford.

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Indeed, he has managed just two goals in 62 appearances for United, with a range of managers failing to find use for him and even the appointment of his former Ajax mentor Erik ten Hag failing to spark a revival.

Having spent time with Everton over the 2021/22 campaign, Van de Beek was made available for transfer last summer as United stuck an enticing €15m asking price on his head.

However, despite talks over a move to Real Sociedad, they backed away from a deal while potential moves to Turkey with Galatasaray and Fenerbahce also hit dead ends.

Just two appearances followed in the opening months of this season, underlining the fact that Van de Beek desperately needed a move to reinvigorate his career; a move that eventually resulted in a January loan to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Joining the Bundesliga side on loan with an option to buy for a fee of £12.5m, Van de Beek has so far managed 321 minutes of action for his new side.

Ratcliffe makes Van de Beek available for ‘dirt cheap’ price

As a result – and this will not come as a surprise to the player – it’s reported already that Frankfurt boss Dino Toppmoller has already decided against his permanent signing, leaving the midfielder facing something of an uncertain future once again.

However, United’s new minority shareholder Ratcliffe is reportedly more determined than ever to offload the player, with his contract at Old Trafford due to expire in summer 2025.

As a result, reports in the player’s native Netherlands claims Ratcliffe has come up with a drastic plan to move the player on, having dramatically slashed his asking price by a staggering 75 per cent.

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And per the report, the United chief is looking for a fee of just €10m (£8.5m) for any club willing to sign the player this summer. That’s not where the story ends, however, amid claims that Ratcliffe still has ‘room for negotiation’ over what has been described in Soccer News’ report of his ‘dirt cheap’ fee.

As a result, it may be that any move for Van de Beek could ultimately end up going through for next to nothing and while United will stop short at a free transfer, the fees they now expect to receive for the 19-times capped midfielder will be negligible at best.

Now according to their report, that new lowly fee is set to attract the attention of Ajax, who would be willing to negotiate with Manchester United over the return of their former midfielder.

That’s because the Dutch giants now see that €10m price tag are finally being ‘affordable’, having looked into the possibility of bringing the player back to the Johan Cruyff ArenA before.

As a result, talks over his return to the Dutch capital are set to commence in the coming weeks and his exit could prove the very first deal negotiated by Ratcliffe upon his £1.3bn investment into the Red Devils.

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