Manchester United sign Donny van de Beek for Sh6 billion
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 Johan Cruyff Arena, in Amsterdam, on May 8, 2019. [Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP]

Former Premier League champions Manchester United have completed the signing of midfielder Donny van de Beek from Ajax for a fee that could rise to Sh6 billion (£39.1million).

United will pay an initial £34.7m for the 23-year-old, who has penned a five-year contract with the option of a further 12 months to become Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first recruit ahead of the 2020-21 season.

The Netherlands midfielder was one of the star performers for Ajax as they embarked upon a memorable run to the semi-finals of the 2018-19 Champions League, having thrashed Spanish giants Real Madrid in the round of 16.

Van de Beek told Manchester United website: “I cannot begin to explain how incredible an opportunity it is to join a club with such an amazing history.

 “I would like to thank everyone at Ajax. I grew up there and I will always have a special bond with the club.

 “I am now ready to take the next step in my career and perform at the highest level and there is no higher standard than Manchester United.

“Everyone has told me how amazing the Old Trafford atmosphere is and I am looking forward to experiencing that, once it is safe for the fans to return.

 “This team has some of the best midfielders in the world and I know that I can learn from them and also bring my own strengths to the group.

 “Having spoken to the manager about his vision for this team, the direction that the club is going in is hugely exciting and I cannot wait to be a part of that.”

Manchester United sign Donny van de Beek for Sh6 billion
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]

Solskjaer heaped praise on the midfielder ahead of the busy 2020/21 Premier League season that is set to kick off on September 12.

“Donny has all of the technical attributes needed to perform in this team and has the personality required to succeed at Manchester United.

“His ability to see space, time his movements and read the game will really complement the qualities that we have in midfield and his arrival really strengthens the depth of talent we have in that position.

“Donny’s performances in the Eredivisie and in Europe have been excellent over the last few years and we are all looking forward to working with him.”

Van de Beek came through the ranks of the Ajax youth system, making his senior debut in 2015.

Experienced in European competitions, he also featured in the 2017 Europa League final against Man United.

The Netherlands international contributed 10 goals and 11 assists in 37 games last season before the Eredivisie league was curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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