Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has confirmed that he expects Donny van de Beek to leave the club in the January transfer window. The 26-year-old midfielder looks set to end his disastrous spell at Old Trafford next month after failing to win over the faith of his former boss.
Van de Beek joined United in a £35million deal in 2020 after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer missed out on Jack Grealish.
Given the difference in player profiles, it was a deal met by excitement and confusion in equal measure at the time.
And with good reason. Van de Beek failed to impress Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick, and his Ajax reunion with Ten Hag hasn’t had the desired effect.
He’s made just 62 appearances in over three years at United, which included an underwhelming short loan at Everton at the start of 2022.
Seeing him stay at Old Trafford in the summer despite strong links with a move to Spain, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia was a surprise.
But Ten Hag expects him to complete an exit in the winter transfer window. “I can see he has to play for his career and for everything,” the Dutchman said on Friday.
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Ten Hag’s admission follows Van de Beek’s honest verdict during an interview with Diario AS last month.
The Netherlands international – who has lost his place as a regular in the national squad – claimed he almost joined Real Sociedad in the summer and suggested exit plans could resume in the new year.
He said: “I was close to going to Real Sociedad, but at the last minute, the clubs could not reach an agreement.
“The time comes when a decision has to be made. I have to start playing games very soon. If it’s not possible at United, then I will go to another club.