Madrid appeared to have been the favourites to sign the midfielder this summer, but Ajax director Edwin Van der Sar last week confirmed United were also in the running.
Standard Sport understands Solskjaer is keen to add creativity to his midfield, with Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish, James Maddison and Jude Bellingham all high on the Norwegian’s list. The Dutchman may be viewed as a cheaper alternative, however – especially if Bellingham joins Borussia Dortmund.
Meanwhile, Madrid’s players and staff have accepted wage cuts of 10 to 20 per cent due to the club’s financial difficulties following the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis, and De Boer believes United may just steal a march for the 23-year-old.
“When you hear these clubs pass by, I know your heart will beat faster,” De Boer told Fox Sports.
“If Real Madrid again decide not to [sign] 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.”
Solskjaer is determined to stay competitive in the transfer market this summer, but recently insisted incoming players will be determined by the players’ character as well as their ability.
And De Boer certainly believes Van de Beek fits the bill, adding: “Solskjaer has indicated that he wants to go in a new direction and wants players who are humble, their heart is with the club, a team player.
“I think he is tired of the Pogbas running around. He wants players like Donny van de Beek.”