According to quotes in the Express, Donny van de Beek’s agent has confirmed Arsenal ‘really wanted’ to sign the Dutchman before he joined Manchester United.
Van de Beek has been one of the most sought after players in European football after forging a reputation as one of the most exciting young attacking midfielders outside of the big leagues.
The 23-year-old was a key part of the Ajax team that reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2019 and he’s continued to impress having contributed 10 goals and 11 assists in 37 games last season.
The Dutch international was strongly tipped for a move to Real Madrid earlier in the year but that proposed deal collapsed when football was halted back in March while a number of other top European sides have also been tracking him.
Van de Beek’s agent has now confirmed that Arsenal ‘really wanted’ to sign the midfielder but didn’t have the money to finance a deal and that paved the way for Manchester United to wrap-up a deal.
The Red Devils confirmed earlier this evening that van de Beek has joined the club on a five-year contract with the Express suggesting the deal cost Manchester United around £40m.
The player’s agent, Sjaak Swart, is quoted by the Express as telling Ajax Showtime:
“Manchester United is certainly the right choice. There were more clubs with interest, such as Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Juventus and Arsenal. There were six in total, but it all came to an end because of the coronavirus.”
“It was already a regular matter in March that he would go to Madrid, but because of the virus, all of that has been postponed.
“Clubs have no income, and they could not sell players. Ultimately, Manchester United pushed through, and that is, of course, a very nice club.”
“Yes, they [Arsenal] really wanted him. But they just couldn’t get the money for a transfer. Even the biggest clubs struggle. Arsenal is a great club, but Manchester United will certainly be an interesting adventure.”
So it seems Arsenal couldn’t afford £40m to sign van de Beek. Some reports suggest United have only paid about £35m up front, which is a superb piece of business, but it’s damming on us that we don’t have that sort of money to sign a top player like van de Beek.
Finances are tight at the Emirates so we probably told Ajax we had to sell before we could buy van de Beek, and United took advantage of our poor financial situation to get the deal agreed.
Mikel Arteta is desperately trying to overhaul his midfield and van de Beek would have been an excellent addition. However, that ship has sailed and The Athletic are reporting that Arsenal are in talks over a potential deal to sign Houssem Aouar from Lyon.
He would be a superb signing so let’s hope we can get something done on that front once we’ve managed to raise some funds. There are rumours Hector Bellerin could be sold while the likes of Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira are also available for transfer.
If we can generate some money from their sales, then Arsenal will be able to push ahead with moves for the likes of Aouar and Thomas Partey so I’m confident Arteta will sort out our midfield eventually this summer.