Manchester United are willing to considering offering Donny van de Beek to clubs this summer if it means they stand a better chance of negotiating deals for their own targets, but gossip from Italy claims that Juventus want to send Adrien Rabiot in the opposite direction.
Van de Beek was nominated for the Ballon d’Or in 2019 and United completed £40m deal last summer that was widely praised at the time. But the Dutchman has struggled to establish himself and has started only twice in the Premier League all season.
90min exclusively revealed last month that United are weighing up using Van de Beek as a makeweight this summer. The club is open to parting ways with the 23-year-old but are aware that selling in a straight cash deal could mean taking a big hit on their initial outlay.
That has led the Old Trafford hierarchy to consider including Van de Beek in approaches for their top targets this summer. United are keen on Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland at Borussia Dortmund, while centre-back Manuel Ankanji was of also interest before narrowing down that shortlist to either Jules Kounde at Sevilla or Villarreal’s Pau Torres.
With income depressed by the coronavirus pandemic, United could save themselves some money off possible purchase prices by using Van de Beek in such a way. The Bundesliga side are even receptive to the idea of taking him in part-exchange.
United have only entered specific talks regarding Van de Beek with Dortmund because of their interest in certain players at Westfalenstadion, but 90min also explained that there has been contact with a number of other clubs across Europe to gauge potential interest in Van de Beek.
But the crucial point is that they are not desperate to get rid of him and can still see the former Ajax star fulfilling his potential at Old Trafford. It is just that the expensive nature of their priority transfer targets combined with the financial climate has forced staff to think more creatively.
The Rabiot angle emerged from Italian publication Tuttosport, with suggestions that Juventus are looking for a central midfielder this summer and are interested in Manuel Locatelli and Chelsea’s Jorginho, as well as Van de Beek.
The Serie A giants are said to admire Van de Beek and their own creative solution for trying to sign him would be to offer Rabiot to Manchester United in some form of exchange deal. The Frenchman has not had the best of seasons in Turin and Juve could be willing to let him go.
Any such deal would hinge on whether United are even interested in Rabiot. Central midfield is on their deeper wishlist, but other positions are still more of a priority. Rabiot also has a reputation for being a challenging character and Old Trafford staff have worked much harder on doing due diligence in their recruitment to make sure every player is a good fit for the squad.