Manchester United have a concrete interest in signing Donny van de Beek this summer – but Ajax are adamant their asking price won’t be beaten down for the midfielder.
Reports on Sunday claimed the Red Devils had been keeping a close watch on the Dutchman’s situation with the Amsterdam giants and that they were now ready to make their move with a potential move to Real Madrid appearing in jeopardy.
LaLiga giants Real were thought to be frontrunners to sign the Holland star, but may no longer be in a position to afford him – leaving Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men as the main contenders for his signature.
Ajax chief executive Edwin van der Sar has confirmed that the 23-year-old will be allowed to leave this summer, along with team-mates Andre Onana and Nicolas Tagliafico – but only if the price is right.
Last summer, Ajax cashed in on Matthijs De Ligt, Frenkie De Jong and Kasper Dolberg earning them £163m in the process.
And while this summer’s likely exits are unlikely to raise quite as much, Ajax have shown in the past that players will only leave if their transfer valuations are met.
With that in mind, Ajax are believed to have set a €55m (£48.8m) fee for any club wanting to sign Van de Beek.
United old boy Edwin van der Saar, who now works as CEO for the Dutch giants, has confirmed the Red Devils’ interest.
Speaking to Dutch outlet NOS, Van der Sar said: “It’s clear that clubs like Real Madrid and United are showing interest in Donny van de Beek.”
Sunday’s report claimed United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward wants Ajax to reduce their asking price to nearer the £36m mark, with the Red Devils ‘seriously examining him as a target again’.
However, that bid would be rejected by Ajax, despite the global slowdown of the transfer market this year.
Van de Beek had 10 goals from 37 appearances for Ajax this season before the campaign was ended prematurely.
Van de Beek reality check for United
“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.”