More than a year after Mauricio Pochettino name-checked him as a player he loved, Ajax star Donny van de Beek could be heading to Tottenham this summer.
The former Spurs boss waxed lyrical about the Dutch midfielder after he scored the winner in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final clash back in 2019.
When asked who he thought Ajax’s most important player was, Pochettino revealed: “Van de Beek. Nobody talks much about him. But he has a dynamic in the game, he gets behind Tadic, he arrives, he works, he scores goals. Logically, I love De Jong and De Ligt. But the example of the operation of this Ajax is Van de Beek. I like very much. They have a young player, from the academy, in each line, that shows what the team is.”
Now, Spanish publication SPORT claim that both Spurs and Manchester United have made contact with Ajax over potentially signing the 23-year-old this summer, although it’s said Van de Beek himself is holding out for a move to La Liga giants Barcelona.
The report adds Ajax have put a €55m (£49m) asking price on his head, and that a move to Barcelona could well hinge on how the situation surrounding Lionel Messi pans out.
But if Spurs can steal a march on their domestic and European competitors for the Dutchman’s signature this summer, then they could land one of European football’s premiere goal-scoring midfielders.
He netted ten times last season, whilst his former youth coach at Ajax, Brandon Roy, declared: “Physically he has always been devastating, since he knows how to attack and defend with the same skill. He was very shy but already smart on the playing field. He is a total footballer, offensive runs are one of his great specialties.”
Spurs could make a significant statement in the transfer window by landing Van de Beek.