Fabrizio Romano reveals Toffees were "more than close" to deadline day signing

Everton manager Rafael Benitez giving tactical instructions

Fabrizio Romano has revealed how close Everton came to signing Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek on loan on deadline day.

What has Romano said about van de Beek's proposed move to Everton?

Romano told The Here We Go Podcast that the Toffees were on the brink of sealing a deal for van de Beek to move to Goodison Park on a temporary basis.

However, their attempts to sign the 19-cap international were thwarted by United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who decided that he wanted to keep the 24-year-old at Old Trafford.

The transfer insider said: “Everton, on deadline day, they were more than close to signing Donny van de Beek. They had an agreement with the player, they had a project for the player to make him a starter, to give him some game time. So they were prepared to sign Donny van de Beek on loan from Manchester United.

“They were also prepared to give Manchester United what they wanted for Donny van de Beek but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s been really clear with the agent of the player, with the player himself. He said: ‘we want you to stay. We trust you, we want you to stay.’”

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What is van de Beek's record at United?

Having moved to United for £35.1m from Ajax in September 2020, van de Beek endured a difficult opening campaign in England, making just four starts in the Premier League for the Red Devils last term.

He did score on his league debut against Crystal Palace, but has failed to kick on since then, and his game time has been even more restricted at the start of this season. Despite making the squad for all three of United's fixtures, he is yet to play a single minute for the team. 

Overall, he has made 36 appearances for the 13-time Premier League champions in all competitions, scoring once and providing two assists.

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How would van de Beek have helped Everton?

Everton finished as the lowest scorers in the top half of the Premier League by a considerable distance last season, managing just 47 goals under Carlo Ancelotti.

Furthermore, one of their main creators over the last 12 months, James Rodriguez, does not appear to be part of Rafael Benitez's plans moving forwards.

Therefore, the Merseyside club need a creative presence in the middle of the park, and van de Beek could have been the player to come in and deliver chances for the likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison up front.

Now that he has stayed at United, though, it may be a concern for Everton that they could lack an attacking threat from midfield this season, which could see the club struggle to push for a European place over the coming months.

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