Manchester United must bolster their squad to accelerate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s rebuild this summer and a new name has emerged as one of their top targets.
The Times report Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek is back on United’s radar, despite the Dutchman having already agreed a deal to sign for Real Madrid.
Van de Beek’s move to Real Madrid has been thrown into the doubt due to the financial crisis in La Liga caused by the coronavirus pandemic and United could be about to pounce.
It is suggested that United considered a move to van de Beek last August, but interest has been renewed and Ed Woodward is hoping to strike a deal with Ajax for around €40m.
The 23-year-old is one of the most classy midfielders across Europe and announced himself on the global stage in Ajax’s fantastic run to the Champions League semi-finals last season.
He was one of the stars in the Eredivisie side’s inspired European run, and looks ready for the next challenge in his career.
What makes him such an attractive option for United boss Solskjaer is his versatility.
Van de Beek can operate anywhere from the number 10 role to shielding the back four, but has spent the majority of this season in a central midfield position where he has scored eight league goals and laid on a further five assists.
Solskjaer would certainly not be short of options in the centre of the park if United hijack Madrid’s move for the Dutchman, but we identified one way he could slot into the side.
Many fans are eagerly anticipating the partnership between Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba and van de Beek could complete one of the Premier League’s most dynamic midfields.
United would have plenty of creativity with this midfield trio, but admittedly may be lacking in defensive protection with each having a tendency to get forward.
Therefore, Solskjaer could operate with a 4-3-3 system when attempting to break down lesser teams at home who line up with a low defensive block.
But against more offensively threatening sides, United could play the more familiar 4-2-3-1 with Pogba and van de Beek playing more withdrawn midfield roles. The likes of Fred, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic are, of course, also more than capable in starting alongside van de Beek in a midfield pivot.
4-3-3: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw, van de Beek, Pogba, Fernandes, Rashford, Martial, James