Everton director of football Marcel Brands has confirmed that he had two attempts to sign Donny van de Beek this summer foiled by Manchester United.
The 24-year-old midfielder has endured a struggle following his move from Ajax in 2020. He faced a battle for minutes last season because of the competition already there, but recent arrivals have not helped.
Indeed, Jesse Lingard has returned from his fantastic loan at West Ham. He has looked to be ahead of Van de Beek in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s pecking order from the bench.
Cristiano Ronaldo has also made an impact since his move back to Old Trafford.
However, Van de Beek’s situation was the same at the end of last season. As such, his agent, Guido Albers, revealed in September that he had a deadline day move to Everton rejected for his client.
Speaking to NOS, Toffees transfer chief Brands opened up on the talks with United about Van de Beek.
“We had him on our list,” Brands said. “At the beginning of the transfer window, we enquired at United, then it was impossible.
“At the end of the window, I received a call from Guido Albers, his agent, that he might be rented out after all. But at the last minute it was cancelled. Stopped again.”
Albers revealed in his recent interview that he expected Van de Beek to earn significant game time after his club repelled the serious transfer interest in him.
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However, he has only played 141 minutes across three appearances in all competitions. Furthermore, he has only played six minutes in the Premier League.
That is despite Albers reiterating to the Man Utd board that Van de Beek is “not a Carabao Cup player, or FA Cup player, or to play only in European games”.
Brands has admitted that he could yet try again in January to bring the midfielder across the North West. He insisted, like Albers did, that Ronaldo’s presence is not helping the player.
Everton could sign Van de Beek
“You always depend on whether a club wants to cooperate. And it is early October, so much can still happen with injuries,” Brands added.
“United are playing on various fronts, it’s hard to say now.
“It is of course a pity for Donny. He is a very good player, no doubt about it.
“Such a boy wants to play and wants to return to the Dutch national team. But you know that at such a club the pressure is great and the competition is huge.
“When you see what United had sitting on the bench: Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho, Paul Pogba…”
Ronaldo’s appearance from the bench against Everton – and his subsequent frustrations after the 1-1 draw – has raised fears from Gary Neville about the situation.