Donny van de Beek’s time at Manchester United could be drawing to a close after a frustrating 18 months on English soil.
According to Italian outlet CalcioMercato (as relayed by the Daily Star), the 24-year-old’s agent is working hard to secure his client a move away from Old Trafford, with Serie A giants AC Milan interested in securing his services.
The report states that Van de Beek’s representatives are targeting a January departure, although it remains to be seen whether United’s hierarchy would be willing to let their £39m acquisition leave midway through the campaign.
After scoring 41 goals and laying on a further 34 assists for his teammates in 175 games for Ajax, as well as winning a domestic double in 2018/19 as they reached the Champions League semi-finals, van de Beek’s arrival in the Red half of Manchester was greeted with great excitement.
However, the physical demands and fast-paced nature of the Premier League often looked to overwhelm the technically gifted midfielder last term, limiting him to just four starts in the top-flight throughout 2020/21.
And it’s been a similar story this time around. Van de Beek has played just six minutes of league football in United’s opening seven fixtures despite Solskjaer’s side often struggling to break down their opponents.
The Dutch international was also sacrificed as a half time substitute in the Red Devils disappointing Champions League defeat against Young Boys, illustrating his lowly standing in the first-team squad.
Nevertheless, Solskjaer is still believed to be a big fan of the attack-minded midfielder and wants to see more of him this season, but whether he’s prepared to wait for his chance is doubtful.
Van de Beek’s exit in the winter window would leave the Old Trafford outfit short of strength in depth in the engine room, and as a result, United’s Norwegian boss would be left feeling gutted as he attempts to end the club’s trophy drought. If the manager does still like him, selling would be a puzzling decision from the Red Devils hierarchy.
It’s unlikely that Milan would be able to afford the £27m-rated maestro, yet if they are prepared to match his price tag, football director John Murtough must resist the temptation to sell, preventing a transfer nightmare as the 20-time English champions plot a route back to the Premier League summit.
Solskjaer will need all the resources available to him if he’s to beat the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea to the major silverware on offer, and van de Beek has the potential to come good in the remaining months of the campaign.