Manchester United close in on €44m Ajax star Van de Beek

Donny van de Beek of Ajax seen during the pre season match Ajax v RKC Waalwijk on August 8, 2020 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Manchester United have agreed to sign Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek for €44 million.

Talks escalated quickly over the weekend after the 23-year-old was withdrawn from the Ajax squad who were due to play Eintracht Frankfurt in a pre-season friendly on Saturday.

Ajax coach Erik ten Hag claimed the omission was linked to Van de Beek's future and United pressed ahead with a formal bid to try to ensure other clubs do not come in for the player.

De Telegraaf in the Netherlands have reported that personal terms have already been agreed with the Netherlands international, who is expected to have a medical this week ahead of signing a five-year deal.

United have tracked Van de Beek for some time and, it appears, have been given a "free run" at signing him after Barcelona and Real Madrid did not step up their interest. Tottenham, too, did not make a bid.

Van de Beek will become United's first signing of this transfer window and is expected to form a midfield triumvirate with Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes.

Although Van de Beek, a product of the Ajax academy, can play as a box-to-box midfielder - and scored 10 goals in 37 appearances for Ajax last season - it would be expected he would take a deeper role should Pogba stay.

In May, Ajax chief executive - and former United goalkeeper - Edwin van der Sar confirmed that Van de Beek would be allowed to leave the club if a suitable offer was made.

United's interest in Van de Beek does not mean they will not press ahead with plans to try to sign a right-sided forward having, so far, been frustrated in their efforts to bring in Jadon Sancho from Dortmund.

The fee for Van de Beek includes add-ons, although they are not expected to be difficult to reach and the signing which should be completed in the next few days.

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