Manchester United are now in the front seat in the race to sign Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek this summer after Real Madrid withdrew from the race, according to reports in Holland.
The Dutchman had reportedly agreed personal terms with Real earlier this year ahead of a £45million (€50m) move.
However, with the Bernabeu undergoing a £500m renovation and the coronavirus pandemic hitting clubs financially, chances of Van de Beek moving to the Spanish capital are now ‘nil’.
With a move to Real now reportedly dead in the water, United could be ready to take advantage and make a move for the midfielder.
Chief football correspondent of Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf Valentijn Driessen told Veronica Inside: ‘I now hear that Real Madrid is backtracking. The chance that he will go to Real Madrid is nil.
‘The transfer fee was fixed. He was allowed to go for €50million. In fact, everything was agreed. It was only about the medical examination.’
With his dream move now in tatters, Van de Beek could look elsewhere with Dutch legend and Ajax coach Ronald de Boer admitting that he’d ‘understand’ if he made the move to Old Trafford.
De Boer told FOX Sports last week: ‘If Real Madrid again decide not to report themselves at Donny, then I can understand it if he decides to go to Manchester United instead.
‘On the one hand, I understand that Real Madrid are hesitating a bit. Another club could think, “hey, an interesting player, maybe we can get him for a little less”. For example Manchester United.’
While Real rated the 23-year-old at £45m, United could be ready to take advantage of the situation and offer the Dutch club £36m.
The midfielder came through the infamous Ajax academy to make his first-team debut in 2015 and has since made 175 appearances in all competitions for the Eredivisie giants.
Last season, Van de Beek was a key figure in the Ajax side that reached the semi-finals of the Champions League, scoring in the quarter-final second-leg win over Juventus and in both ties in the last-four defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.
The 23-year-old is an Ajax fan through and through, after being taken by his father Andre to Amsterdam Arena for the first time at the age of five.