Ajax are ready to sanction the sale of Manchester United target Donny van de Beek this summer after making an approach to sign the man they view as his ideal replacement.
United’s interest in talented midfielder Van de Beek was this week confirmed by Ajax CEO Edwin van der Sar.
That came after it was reported the Red Devils had been keeping a close watch on the Dutchman’s situation and were now ready to make their move with a potential move to Real Madrid 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.
Whoever he joins, Ajax are clearly planning for life after Van de Beek after identifying former midfielder Davy Klaasen as his successor in midfield.
The 27-year-old spent six seasons in the Ajax midfield after breaking through as a youngster.
He then transfered to Everton in summer 2017 for a £23.5m fee, but he struggled badly at Goodison Park and left after just 16 appearances.
Since then, Klaasen has resurrected his career in the Bundesliga with Werder Bremen and it’s no surprise to see Ajax keen to bring him back.
Werder are in danger of being relegated from the German top flight and Klaasen will likely be sold. As such, Dutch outlet VI reckon Klaasen is their top target this summer and have already sounded him out over a potential return.
That will ensure Van de Beek can in turn move on and will lead to speculation that he is Old Trafford bound.
Van der Sar has confirmed that the 23-year-old will be allowed to leave this summer, along with 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.
Van de Beek price set
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.”
United had been tipped to launch an opening £36m offer.
“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.
“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.”
Van de Beek had 10 goals from 37 appearances for Ajax this season before the campaign was ended prematurely.