Van der Sar hands Man Utd, Chelsea stern reality check on Ajax targets

Jonny Whitfield

Ajax chief executive Edwin van der Sar has told clubs interested in the likes of Andre Onana and Donny van de Beek – such as Manchester United and Chelsea – that they can “forget” about getting a cheap deal.

Van de Beek – a Ballon d’Or nominee last year – and goalkeeper Onana are part of the side that reached the Champions League semi-finals last season, stunning Real Madrid and Juventus along the way.

Reports have indicated that United hold a long-term interest in Dutch midfielder Van de Beek in the hunt for another star midfielder after the acquisition of Bruno Fernandes.

Cameroon goalkeeper Onana has also been linked with the Red Devils and Chelsea, who it has been claimed could look to replace Kepa Arrizabalaga.

There is an anticipation that deals worth over the £70million or £80million mark are off the table due to the financial impact of football’s shutdown, but Van der Sar insisted that Ajax’s top talent will still not be flogged for cheap instead.

“In January last year, people said we were going to lose seven or eight players but we lost only two key members,” the chief executive told Reuters.

“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 to 200 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 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.”

United have also been linked with Atletico Madrid kingpin Saul Niguez and Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish.

Gary Neville, meanwhile, expects United to be in a position to be able to spend big transfer fees when the market re-opens, unlike many other top clubs across Europe.

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