Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is considering a January move for Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek, sources have told ESPN, with the Norwegian pushing executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward to secure reinforcements for his Manchester United squad this month.
Solskjaer has been given the green light to make signings during the transfer window, but the United manager admitted after Tuesday's 3-1 Carabao Cup semifinal first-leg defeat against Manchester City that "if it isn't the right thing, we won't do anything" due to the club's determination to avoid repeating the recruitment mistakes of recent seasons.
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But after pulling out of attempts to sign teenage striker Erling Haaland from FC Salzburg last month because of demands by the player's representatives -- Haaland subsequently signed for Borussia Dortmund -- United and Solskjaer believe a deal could be done for Van de Beek this month as a result of Ajax failing to qualify for the Champions League group stages.
The 22-year-old Netherlands international, who was a key figure in Ajax's run to last season's Champions League semifinals, is valued in excess of £50 million by the Dutch champions.
The loss of potential prize money from playing in the Champions League knockout stages has made Ajax vulnerable to offers for their star players from wealthier clubs in Europe's major leagues. And when asked to comment on a possible move, Van de Beek's agent did not deny interest between United and the player.
United have made an attacking midfielder a priority target this summer, along with a right-sided midfielder, and Van de Beek is regarded by the club's scouting team as possessing the necessary quality to improve the team, but also a player with the potential to grow and develop at Old Trafford.
Van de Beek's ability to contribute goals from midfield -- he has scored 8 in 26 games this season for Ajax -- is another element of his game that has seen him emerge as a United target.
Solskjaer is also an admirer of Ajax winger Hakim Ziyech, but Van de Beek is ahead of the 26-year-old Morocco international on United's hit-list due to the club's need to strengthen in midfield.