Manchester United are closing in on a deal to sign Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek as they look to add to their squad in the summer transfer window.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been keen to strengthen his midfield with at least one new addition in the summer window, and it seeems like Dutch international Van de Beek is their man.
MEN Sport understands United are close to finalising agreement over a fee worth just over £40m with Ajax but are yet to agree personal terms with the player and Van de Beek will have to undergo a medical.
Talks between United and Ajax accelerated over the weekend, with Van de Beek left out of the Ajax side to face Eintracht Frankfurt in a friendly on Saturday.
Despite his young age the 23-year-old would bring a wealth of experience to the United midfield and help ease the pressure on both Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba in the starting XI.
Here are three ways United could line up next season with the Ajax star.
As the main attacking midfielder
Van de Beek’s best football has come playing as an attacking midfielder for Ajax, and it is in this advanced role where he would be best utilised by United.
There is no doubting Van de Beek’s talent as one of the best creative players in Europe but his arrival as an attacking midfielder would surely have to see either Bruno Fernandes or Paul Pogba drop out of an extremely attacking line up.
United’s packed fixture schedule next season makes this the most likely set-up with Van de Beek a great rotation option to help Solskjaer cope with the fixture pile-up.
In an attacking pivot
This is not a luxury United will be allowed in most matches, but similarly to the set-up at Manchester City, United could embrace their own attacking threat with an indulgent midfield against so-called smaller teams.
Van de Beek could play in an advanced role with either Fernandes or Pogba, with someone like Fred or Nemanja Matic occupying the defensive role behind.
In a match where United are expected to dominate or are playing against a side with little to offer on the counter-attack this would be a frightening proposition.
In a deeper role
Another key asset to Van de Beek’s game is his versatility, with a more traditional central midfield role perhaps the best position for him should he move to United.
The Dutch midfielder has actually grabbed the more goals playing as a central midfielder this season, although the majority of his assists have come while playing further up the pitch.
Playing Van de Beek deeper would not only solidify United’s own defensive structure and control of the match, but he has the ability to control a game from deep.