Man United set to sign Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek
Ajax’s Donny van de Beek celebrates after scoring his side’s opening goal during the Champions League semifinal first leg soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Ajax at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium in London, Tuesday, April 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Manchester United have won the race to sign Ajax’s Donny van de Beek after Tottenham failed with an 11th-hour bid to snatch the Dutch midfielder.

Van de Beek, 23, will arrive at Old Trafford in a £40million deal in the coming days after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer launched a charm offensive to land a player who was also a target for Barcelona and Real Madrid.

United’s chief negotiator Matt Judge moved in to seal an agreement with the Holland international today after being alerted to Spurs’ attempt to hijack the move.

Van de Beek has agreed a five-year deal – with the option of an extra 12 months.

He has told friends in Amsterdam that Solskjaer’s determination to sign him was the key factor in his decision.

Van de Beek was impressed with the vision the United boss described to him about the direction the Reds are going after finishing third last season to seal a return to the Champions League.

Van de Beek refused to play in Ajax’s friendly against Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday after learning that United were preparing to firm up their interest with an official bid.

He seemed bound for Real Madrid earlier this summer when the Spanish champions agreed a £44.6million fee with Ajax.

Man United set to sign Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek
Ajax’s Dutch midfielder Donny van de Beek (L) vies with Tottenham’s Kenyan midfielder Victor Wanyama during the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg football match between Ajax Amsterdam and Tottenham Hotspur at the the Johan Cruyff Arena, in Amsterdam, on May 8, 2019. (Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP)

But the deal collapsed when the coronavirus crisis struck.

And although new Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman indicated that he wanted to take the midfielder to the Nou Camp, the Catalan club are in turmoil following Lionel Messi’s bombshell announcement that he wants to leave.

Van de Beek believes his style will be more suited to English football.

United used their close links with former keeper Edwin van der Sar, who is Ajax’s chief executive, to put the wheels in motion late last week.

They have been monitoring the Nijkerkerveen-born attacking midfielder for over a year.

Van de Beek was outstanding as Ajax won the Eredivisie and Dutch Cup double in 2019 and were just seconds away from reaching the Champions League final until Lucas Moura struck a dramatic late semi-final winner for Spurs.

Van de Beek was raised as an Ajax fan by his football-mad parents and joined the club’s famed youth academy as an 11-year-old.

He made his first-team debut in 2015 and the following season came on as a substitute as the Amsterdam club were beaten by United in the Europa League final.

Van de Beek has scored 41 goals in 175 appearances for Ajax and has been capped 10 times by Holland.

 

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