Manchester United are growing more optimistic about their chances of signing Donny Van De Beek from Ajax this month, according to reports.
Central midfield is seen as one of the main areas United need to strengthen – particularly with Paul Pogba on the sidelines with injury again.
While the club have generally been linked with homegrown players such as Newcastle United’s Sean Longstaff – who Steve Bruce insists is going nowhere – they could also look to make a big name signing after missing out on striker Erling Braut Haaland to Borussia Dortmund.
Any funds they may have lined up to use for Haaland could now be available for other targets, and ESPN claim they want to revamp their midfield by signing Van De Beek from Ajax.
The Dutch midfielder is one of the most in demand players in Europe, but unlike former teammates Frenkie De Jong and Matthijs De Ligt, stayed in the Eredivisie last summer.
His time with Ajax could soon be over, though, as ESPN point out that they need to raise funds after being eliminated from the Champions League.
Semi-finalists last season, this year they have dropped into the Europa League after only managing to come third in their group – and that means they will miss out on some funds that would have been provided by progression in the Champions League.
Van De Beek is rated in the £50m bracket, but that valuation could change now that Ajax won’t be competing in the knockout stages of Europe’s elite competition.
He is not the only Ajax player on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s radar, but is preferred to Hakim Ziyech due to his position.
Van De Beek has previously been mentioned alongside Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez as United targets in the event of Pogba leaving, but the Frenchman’s injury troubles may prompt the Red Devils to act regardless.