Sending Donny van de Beek on loan to Real Madrid may be the key to Manchester United getting their top target this summer, according to a report.
Things have simply not worked out for Van de Beek since he switched Ajax for Man Utd last summer. The midfielder scored on his debut, but it remains his only goal in a United shirt yet. His chances to add to it were few and far between; Ole Gunnar Solskjaer only gave him four Premier League starts in his debut season.
Now, there has already been talk of a premature exit for Van de Beek, despite his contract running until 2025. United could decide to loan him out in order for him to rediscover a rhythm, without giving up on his future entirely.
A number of big clubs would be keen to take him on such terms. Inter and AC Milan have both been tipped to take him to Italy, for example.
But according to The Sun, Real Madrid are now showing an interest in taking Van de Beek on loan – and it may have a positive side-effect for United.
Real initially rivalled United for Van de Beek’s signature last summer before he made his move. They were unable to complete a deal because they could not move some of their other midfielders on to make room for him.
Now, though, they would be willing to reignite their interest in the Dutchman. The newspaper claims they could offer to take him on loan, with a £2m fee and full coverage of his wages, before a potential permanent deal the following summer.
Madrid are currently in something of a precarious financial position, but are hoping to recover 12 months down the line. Thus, if United are willing to let go of Van de Beek permanently, he could complete the transfer.
Van de Beek the key for Varane?
It seems United would rather keep Van de Beek under contract, but the lure of being able to sign Raphael Varane in return may be too good to turn down.
Varane has been a long-term target for United at centre-back. Now that they have agreed to sign winger Jadon Sancho, the Frenchman has become their top target for the summer transfer window.
A World Cup winner in 2018, he could be an ideal partner for captain Harry Maguire in defence. With one year left on his contract at the Bernabeu, it could be the perfect opportunity to make a move.
Madrid have been playing hardball over Varane’s future, demanding a high fee despite the risk of losing him for free next year. According to The Sun, he is valued at around £50m.
However, since both clubs have a player the other admires, their respective stances could in theory soften.
Perhaps the promise of sending Van de Beek in return could give Man Utd the edge over Paris Saint-Germain, who also want Varane.