Donny Van De Beek has completed a medical in the Netherlands ahead of his £40m move from Ajax to Manchester United.
The deal, which is thought to be in the region of €39m, plus another €5m in add-ons, is now imminent and could be completed before the Netherlands’ upcoming Nations League matches.
The 23-year-old had his medical while with the Netherlands squad ahead of their games against Poland (September 4) and Italy (September 7). He will travel to the UK after those fixtures.
United have scouted Van de Beek extensively, with the player left out of Ajax’s squad for the Dutch champions’ friendly with Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday amid rumours of an imminent move away.
Van de Beek helped Ajax reach the 2018-19 Champions League semi-finals, scoring four goals along the way and 40 in all competitions over the last three seasons.
In May, Ajax chief executive Edwin van der Sar confirmed the midfielder would be allowed to leave, but only for a suitable fee.
Van de Beek was close to joining Real Madrid prior to the coronavirus pandemic, but he did not complete a medical or sign an agreement with the club.
The Transfer Show also reported on Monday there was a preference for any deal involving him to be completed before Ajax kick off their new season in the Dutch Eredivisie against Sparta Rotterdam on September 13.
The Government has also confirmed to The Transfer Show that Van de Beek will not need to self-isolate for 14 days in the UK provided he is a registered Manchester United player, before either of his games for the Netherlands.
If the Dutchman becomes a United player prior to the Netherlands’ matches against Poland or Italy, he will be allowed to apply for an exemption on sporting grounds.
The same exemption currently applies for all Premier League and EFL players away on international duty from the UK, and for those who are competing in games abroad, such as Liverpool’s friendlies being played during their pre-season camp in Austria.
Netherlands is not currently in a travel corridor with the UK.
Analysis: Why do Man Utd want Van de Beek?
Sky Sports’ Charlotte Marsh:
Donny van de Beek is a man in demand, but why has he garnered so much attention?
With incredible versatility, Van de Beek can operate in a central or attacking role and has been described as the classic box-to-box midfielder.
The 23-year-old has the ability to play anywhere across the middle – a trait that will only increase his value – and as well as being that vital link between defence and attack, he is more offensively minded than other central midfield players.
He has developed that special talent of making late runs into the area to latch onto forward passes, catching out even the most astute of defenders.
But he is also not afraid of sitting deep and doing the hard work when he needs to. According to WhoScored.com, Van de Beek makes an average of two tackles per game in the Eredivisie – the fourth highest in the Ajax squad – and can help out in a more defensive role when needed.
Even fellow countryman and former Ajax assistant manager Dennis Bergkamp had him pegged as a special talent at a young age.
In quotes carried by the Daily Mail, Frank de Boer, who Bergkamp worked under at the club, recalled: “Dennis started talking enthusiastically about a talent in his youth team. It was a boy who reminded Dennis of himself at that age. That was the signal for me to keep an eye on that guy. That was Donny.”
Sancho remains top target – but next summer?’
Sky Sports News’ James Cooper:
“The personal terms shouldn’t be an issue for Van de Beek – he wants to come and a medical could take place on Thursday, before he plays for the Netherlands against Poland on Friday night.
“Manchester United have moved quickly on this – they wanted to bring in a midfielder to bolster their options and not just rely on Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes; it will likely be a rotational policy – three players for two positions.
“Getting Van de Beek in when other clubs have been busy will take some of the heat off Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ed Woodward but Jadon Sancho remains their No 1 target this summer. I think it will go on and on, though; I don’t see Man Utd writing a £100m cheque so it will be a complex deal to do.
“There’s a feeling Sancho wants to come to Manchester United so there is the will there; United will keep pushing but they’ll also look to fulfil what they want elsewhere, which is a centre-back to put pressure on Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly and be a potential first-team starter.
“They have the finances for Sancho but it’s whether they think the environment is right. There is a chance, though nobody is saying it publicly, that it might go to next summer.”
‘Upamecano to United? Not this summer’
Sky Sports News’ James Cooper:
“I’m afraid I don’t think Dayot Upamecano will be coming to Manchester United this summer. He is someone they have scouted and been impressed by.
“He’s 21-years-old and made a real name for himself across Europe while at RB Leipzig.
“He’s on a list of sorts, but not one for this summer, it might be United would prefer a scenario whereby they look at him for another season, how he responds to the challenge of playing consistently amid interest from the likes of United.
“You can see why people are talking about him, you can see him alongside Harry Maguire, but it won’t happen this summer. United’s priorities lie elsewhere, and he may be too expensive given he just signed a three-year deal.”
‘Bergkamp helped sell Premier League to Van de Beek’
De Telegraaf journalist Marcel van der Kraan joined The Transfer Show on Sky Sports News on Monday to explain how former Arsenal star Dennis Bergkamp played a surprising role in convincing Van de Beek to join United.
The 23-year-old is dating Bergkamp’s daughter Estelle, and Van der Kraan believes the Dutch legend played a key role in selling Van de Beek on the merits of playing in the Premier League, instead of waiting for potential moves to La Liga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona to materialise.
“Twelve months ago, there was an agreement with Real Madrid. They were absolutely sure they wanted him. The Covid situation has changed that,” Van der Kraan told Sky Sports News.
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“Then there was Barcelona up until this weekend. Ronald Koeman is a big fan of him but he had no cash available to sign him.
“The player could maybe have waited and been sure of a move [to Barcelona] but let’s look at who was in the background here.
Former Manchester United goalkeeper Mark Bosnich believes the deal would be a “fantastic move” for both the player and the club, and says United need to continue to increase the depth of their squad.
“Those that watched the player during his time in Holland have seen the progress that he’s made. I think the way Ole (Gunnar Solskjaer) wants to move forward, it’ll work really, really well,” Bosnich said.
‘Ole trying to build squad to challenge on several fronts’
“I think he’ll play more often than not.
“You can tell that Ole is trying to build a squad that will be sufficient for them to challenge on several fronts, not just for one particular competition.
“He knows from his own experience from being at the club when they won the treble, they had four strikers – himself, Teddy Sheringham, Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke. It’s very important to make sure you have back-up in each position.”