Manchester United have been strongly linked with a move for Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish all the year.
The 24-year-old scored the goal that kept the Villans in the Premier League on the final day of the season last weekend, but the club continue to demand £80 million for the midfielder.
That transfer fee, most recently quoted by Sky Sports, appears to have prevented both Manchester United and Arsenal making a move, at least for the time being.
As a result, it is now being reported that we could turn our attention to Ajax star Donny van de Beek instead, with the Express reporting that we could get him for nearly half the price of Grealish – just £49 million.
A central midfielder is one of the positions that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to upgrade this season, but with Nemanja Matic, Fred and Scott McTominay all having adequate seasons, the right wing and centre-back voids may be the bigger priorities.
Donny van de Beek is an out-and-out attacking midfielder, so wouldn’t be a direct replacement for Matic in midfield, something that Grealish did for more than half of the 2019-20 Premier League campaign.
There’s no doubt that the Dutch international would be a great talent on our books, and Ajax chief Edwin van der Sar even confirmed recently that both ourselves and Real Madrid have shown a keen interest in the 23-year-old.
The former United shot stopper went on to add that Ajax agreed to let some of their stars move on this summer, quoted by the Express as saying:
“It’s clear that clubs like Real Madrid and are Manchester United are showing interest in Donny van de Beek.
“Last year, we made verbal agreements with Onana, Tagliafico and 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 per cent discount. The clubs can forget about that.”
The figure that the Express claim Ajax would accept is around £49 million, which seems a bargain in today’s market for such a promising player. Particularly given the sums the Dutch giants have recently sold Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong and Hakim Ziyech for.
Donny van de Beek scored 10 goals and provided 11 assists in 37 games this past season. He has 10 caps for the Dutch national team.