Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told Ajax star Donny van de Beek to join him at Manchester United and help transform the club into genuine challengers in the Premier League once again.
Van de Beek played no part in Saturday’s pre-season friendly against Eintracht Frankfurt and Ajax manager Erik ten Hag fuelled speculation of an impending move by confirming that the midfielder’s absence was not due to injury.
Barcelona had been favourites to land Van de Beek at the start of the summer but United have jumped to the front of the queue for the 23-year-old’s signature, with Solskjaer desperate to strengthen his options in the middle of the park for the new campaign.
In a surprise turn of events, Van de Beek has informed his Ajax team-mates that he’s set for an imminent switch to Old Trafford after advanced discussions with United’s head coach.
According to The Daily Mirror, Solskjaer encouraged Van de Beek to help him close the sizeable gap that exists between the Red Devils and their English rivals – Liverpool and Manchester City – with a view to returning the club to its former glory.
The Dutchman was assured he would be a cornerstone of Solskjaer’s project should he join this summer.
It’s understood an offer of around £40million could be enough to strike a deal with Ajax for Van de Beek.
The Netherlands international has been with Ajax since the age of ten but pleaded with chief executive Edwin van der Sar and sporting director Marc Overmars to let him leave ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.
Barca have dropped their interest in Van de Beek to prioritise finding a resolution with Lionel Messi after the iconic forward handed in a transfer request last week.
Messi’s camp had hoped to exploit a clause in his contract which would allow him to leave for free ahead of the new season.
But La Liga confirmed on Sunday that any team wishing to sign Messi would have to meet his eye-watering €700million (£632m) at the Camp Nou.
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