After talks between the two, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told Donny van de Beek that his future remains with the club with 'big plans' ahead for the midfielder, according to The Sunday Sun (page 65).
What is the latest transfer news involving Donny van de Beek?
The report claims that the Dutchman's former club Ajax are keen to bring the 24-year-old back to Holland after a difficult time of things since leaving in a deal initially thought to be worth £35m.
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However, decision-makers at Old Trafford are understood to be ready to reject any advances and will snub any interest in the player, reportedly telling him to 'sit tight' ahead of 'big plans' going forward.
What are his contract details?
Having only joined the club last year, van de Beek naturally has a long time to run on the deal he signed in September 2020.
Indeed, United are in seemingly no need to sell given his contract does not expire until the summer of 2025, on an agreement that is believed to see him earn in the region of £120k-per-week (via SpotRac).
Still, they will surely want to see a return on their investment sooner rather than later, with van de Beek only being handed two Premier League starts all season, during which time he's scored once and laid on another assist.
What could those big plans be?
Upon signing the player, Solskjaer told Radio Five Live (via the club's official website) that van de Beek would help add goals from the midfield alongside key man Bruno Fernandes.
“He scores goals and we need to add goals from midfield," he said.
"Our forwards scored quite a few goals last season, Bruno came in and scored goals but we need goals throughout the squad because we didn't score enough to be challenging at the top."
Given no United midfielder outside of Fernandes has managed to score more than four times this season and, despite a campaign in which Manchester City haven't been at their free-scoring best, Solskjaer's side still trail the champions-elect in terms of goals scored, the lack of drive from midfield is clearly still a problem.
With that in mind, perhaps we could start to see the Dutch international played further forward in some kind of tactical shift. Still, there would need to be some improvement in the player himself with van de Beek only averaging 0.1 shots per game (via WhoScored), albeit he's not exactly been trusted much this season.
Writing in The Athletic in February, Carl Anka suggested United's counter-attacking style did not suit van de Beek, who would generally play in an Ajax side who largely controlled domestic games.
So then, perhaps United need to start to morph into a side who operate slightly differently and attack through complex patterns of play rather than relying on their pace up front or a touch of individual brilliance from Fernandes.
Of the traditional top six, only struggling Arsenal and Tottenham average a lower percentage of possession than United (via Footy Stats), suggesting Solskjaer would need to adapt to a more possession-based style of play to get the most out of van de Beek.
Perhaps, then, those 'big plans' may relate to a wider change in approach at Old Trafford.News Now - Sport News