Manchester United are reportedly ready to hijack Real Madrid’s £49million pursuit of Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek.
The 23-year-old has scored 40 goals for his club, and as a goalscoring midfielder has been likened to Chelsea legend Frank Lampard.
Real Madrid’s continued pursuit of Van de Beek is in some doubt, with Spanish football finances having been hard by coronavirus.
And United are ready to take advantage by trying to nip in ahead of the La Liga giants to snap up the Dutch international, according to Mail Online.
The publication reports that Red Devils executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward hopes to land Van de Beek for less than the £49m Madrid were reportedly ready to pay before Covid-19 struck.
Ajax chief executive Edwin van der Sar has already confirmed the player will be allowed to leave this summer if he wants to – although the former United keeper warned that the midfielder would not be sold on the cheap.
However, Woodward has a good relationship with Van der Sar, and will no doubt hope a deal can be done.
Transfer fees are expected to be considerably lower this summer due to the financial impact of coronavirus.
But Van der Sar last month insisted Ajax would not be selling players at knockdown prices, despite the pandemic.
“In January last year, people said we were going to lose seven or eight players but we lost only two key members,” the former Holland keeper told Reuters .
“The big clubs such as Bayern Munich have said the benchmark fee will go down in the next few transfer windows. But it’s easier for them to say because they are the buyers.
“Of course, the €150m-€200m (£131m-£175m) transfers are gone. But I think there is still a lot of value for players who come from Ajax – well educated, experienced in winning and playing European football.
“Last year, we made verbal agreements with [Andre] Onana, [Nicolas] Tagliafico, 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% discount. The clubs can forget about that.”
Van de Beek, who scored 10 goals for Ajax this season before the campaign ended early, is also believed to be on the radar of Juventus.
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