Here are the Manchester United morning headlines for Sunday, August 30.
Van de Beek out of Ajax squad
Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek was excluded from the club’s matchday squad on Saturday for their friendly against Eintracht Frankfurt, amid interest from Manchester United.
The MEN reported in January that Van de Beek was on a shortlist of United’s playmaker targets along with Jack Grealish and James Maddison, although Maddison has since signed a contract extension at Leicester.
He featured in friendlies against Red Bull Salzburg and Hertha Berlin earlier this month, but Ajax boss Erik ten Hag now claims there have been developments over his future.
Opinion: Messi exit complicates Sancho deal
Lionel Messi’s decision to leave Barcelona this summer has added a further layer of complication to United’s pursuit of Jadon Sancho.
As highlighted by the MEN, the Borussia Dortmund forward could now be a key transfer target at the Camp Nou in light of Messi wanting to leave the club.
United have a number of stumbling blocks on any move for the England international, including salary expectations in discussions with his agent Emeka Obasi alongside an intermediary fee for Marco Lichtsteiner, who is representing Dortmund.
It is thought that United have not even broached the topic of a transfer valuation for Sancho, who could have another admirer in a few weeks from now.
United’s stance on van de Beek transfer
United will continue to monitor van de Beek as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks to make his first signing of the summer transfer window.
While there is interest from United in the Ajax man, the MEN understands the deal is not in as advanced a stage as weekend reports would suggest.
There is still work to do if the Holland international is to seal a transfer before October’s deadline, but the Reds have been admirers of van de Beek for a while and have scouted him extensively this year.
Real Madrid were expected to lead the race for the 23-year-old, but the coronavirus pandemic hit their revenues hard.