Van de Beek to Barcelona: Could Man Utd midfielder move this summer?

Robin Bairner
Cavani and Van de Beek making progress – Solskjaer

Donny van de Beek’s future at Manchester United has been a source of speculation for months, with several clubs linked with the Netherlands midfielder, the latest of which is Barcelona.

Van de Beek arrived at Man Utd a year ago from Ajax with a big reputation and a price tag of €40 million to live up to.

Although he played a total of 36 matches last season, he featured only 19 times in the Premier League and was clearly not in the immediate plans of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who preferred Bruno Fernandes in the No.10 role as well as Fred and Scott McTominay deeper in the midfield.

A miserable campaign then concluded with an injury that kept him out of Euro 2020.

Little surprise, then, that Van de Beek’s future at Old Trafford is the subject of much speculation.

Mundo Deportivo even reports that Man Utd offered Van de Beek to Barcelona in the days following Gini Wijnaldum’s snub of the club to join Paris Saint-Germain.

Could a deal be resurrected?

Van Gaal says Van de Beek wrong to join Man Utd after huge derby snub

Barcelona’s priority in the summer transfer window presently is offloading players to free up a sufficient wage budget for Lionel Messi, who is currently out of contract, to re-join the club. As such, Van de Beek will not be registering on their radar at present.

All of Barca’s efforts are directed towards the Messi case presently, with Antoine Griezmann the player they most crave to offload.

Signing another central midfielder is clearly in the medium-term mindset of the club, though, as the Wijnaldum pursuit demonstrates.

Could that player be Van de Beek? Certainly, he is a figure that Ronald Koeman knows well from his time as Netherlands head coach, but if Barcelona are struggling to free up wages to sign Messi, it is unlikely they will be able to liberate even more to make the Manchester United man a realistic summer acquisition.