Manchester United’s confirmed capture of Donny van de Beek shows how the Red Devils moved to capitalise amid the effects of the pandemic.
Van de Beek had been lined up for a summer move to Spanish champions Real Madrid, before the La Liga giants backed off in June.
Dutch newspaper Telegraaf reported that Real Madrid had set the wheels in motion to sign Van de Beek this summer.
Marca reported in March that the framework of an agreement was in place for this coming transfer window, and had been since December.
But then as football went into lockdown, Real backed off. They have been very cautious, and currently have made no new signings, with the only squad improvement being the return of Martin Odegaard from loan.
Real’s loss is Manchester United’s gain, with the Red Devils moving in decisively to sign Van de Beek over the weekend, BBC Sport reported.
Van de Beek teams up with a player who Real were even more desperate to sign.
Pogba and Van de Beek together
The player who Real really want is Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba.
Real tracked him for a long time, with rumours linking the Frenchman to Madrid existing for the best part of two years.
The Mail reported as recently as April that Pogba remained a top target for Zinedine Zidane.
Financially though a deal just looks impossible for Real to pull off, and Pogba has seemed very happy at Manchester United since returning from injury.
Pogba’s outspoken agent Mino Raiola even came out this summer and told Sky Sports his client would be staying put.
Raiola said: “Pogba is staying at Manchester United and I think they want to extend his contract. He is at the centre of an important project.”
So Real’s loss is most certainly United’s gain. Getting the Frenchman tied down to that extended contract is important.
Van de Beek can help Pogba by filling in for him and ensuring he is not overplayed, while he is able able to play alongside him in a couple of different tactical systems.
What is clear is that United’s midfield is now a high quality one, with players of Real Madrid’s quality.
We certainly could not say that at times last season as injuries struck.
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