Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek looks set to face even more competition for a starting place next season if if Paul Pogba is eventually sold.
The Holland star has made just two Premier League starts since his £40million signing from Ajax last summer. Van de Beek’s chances of regular game time have been severely hampered by the outstanding form of Bruno Fernandes, who plays in exactly the same attacking midfield position.
Despite having the ability to play in a deeper role, Van de Beek then finds himself battling with the likes of Pogba, Fred, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic for a starting spot.
With his game time limited, the 23-year-old has been tipped for a move away from Old Trafford this summer.
Ian McGarry of the Transfer Window podcast explained United’s main reason for signing Van de Beek. Claiming that he was brough in as a replacement for the unhappy Pogba.
McGarry said, as cited by the Daily Express: “I have been told, and it has been speculated as well by some ex-Manchester United players, that the reason that Van de Beek was that they expected Paul Pogba to leave Old Trafford.
“So Van de Beek, as a creative midfielder who could play flexibly at six, eight or 10, would be a good replacement for Pogba, who of course didn’t leave and now Van de Beek has been left effectively on the bench.”
McGarry’s podcast co-host Duncan Castles claims that Pogba still wants out. However, United will then look to sign an immediate replacement – rather than trust the Dutchman to fill Pogba’s boots.
Castles said: “Paul Pogba wants to leave. Whether he will get that move is another matter.
“But he would like to go to Real Madrid. However, Manchester United are looking for a new midfielder. They’re looking for a player who can play as a No 6 and also play as a box-to-box No 8.
“So if Pogba goes, there will be more competition for a place.”
LaLiga duo linked with United switch
The Red Devils have been linked with Atletico Madrid duo Marcos Llorente and Saul Niguez in recent times. Indeed, Spanish outlet AS claimed this week that a £65.8m had been placed for the former.
But despite uncertainty over his game time, Van de Beek hasn’t yet decided if he wants out.
Castles added: “What I’m told is that he’s thinking about whether the right thing to do would be to ask for a move and leave Manchester United, go somewhere where he gets to go properly, but only thinking about it.
“It’s not the case, I’m told, that he’s actually gone and requested to leave the club.
“A decision is still to be made on his part over what the right thing is to do this summer.”