Erik ten Hag: 'Nothing Definitive' on Donny van de Beek, Real Madrid Transfer

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistAugust 7, 2019

THESSALONIKI, GREECE - AUGUST 6: Donny van de Beek of Ajax  during the UEFA Champions League  match between PAOK Saloniki v Ajax at the Toumba Stadium on August 6, 2019 in Thessaloniki Greece (Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Ajax manager Erik ten Hag has said Donny van de Beek has not yet finalised a move to Real Madrid despite the transfer speculation surrounding him. 

In recent days, the Netherlands international has been linked with a switch to the Santiago Bernabeu, with manager Zinedine Zidane seemingly keen to bolster his options in central midfield.

Ten Hag was asked about the 22-year-old after the team's 2-2 draw with PAOK in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round on Tuesday and said there's no guarantee he will make the switch to the Spanish capital, per Ziggo Sports (h/t Marca).

"There are a lot of rumours, but nothing definitive," said Ten Hag. "Donny played today, and he's busy with Ajax. We want him to be here for the Champions League because he makes this team better. ... I don't know if he'll leave, but I hope he stays for a long time. Especially for this season because it would mean we have a very good midfielder."

Van de Beek played in the draw with PAOK, but that wouldn't see him cup-tied for Madrid's Champions League group-stage fixtures should a transfer happen.

Per The Spanish Football Podcast, reports in Spain have suggested Madrid will turn to Van de Beek because they've been unable to do a deal for Paul Pogba with Manchester United:

The Spanish Football Podcast @tsf_podcast

Today’s 🇪🇸⚽️ frontpages... 🗞 Marca: “Van de Beek Yes Pogba No” 🗞 As: “Now Van de Beek believes it” 🗞 Mundo Deportivo: “Junior will sign today” 🗞 Sport: “Neymar loan” More in the #tsfp Morning Paper Review for patrons ➡️ https://t.co/SLrR7Gpt6j https://t.co/uIYzviurMg

According to Paul Hirst and Ian Whittell of The Times, the Red Devils have rejected an offer of £27.4 million and James Rodriguez for the France midfielder.

The other attacking midfielder linked with a move to the Spanish capital is Tottenham Hotspur star Christian Eriksen. Miguel Delaney of The Independent and Andy Mitten of The Athletic reported that the Dane is still hoping for a move to the Bernabeu:

Miguel Delaney @MiguelDelaney

Eriksen still holding out for Madrid move, above any other.

Andy Mitten @AndyMitten

MUFC had a few discussions with Eriksen but they’re not ongoing. MU rate him but, tallying with sources in Spain, his focus is on Madrid.

Van de Beek did excellently for Ajax last season, helping them to a domestic double and progressed to the Champions League semi-finals. The Dutchman offered an incisive threat from an attacking-midfield role, getting into dangerous areas, scoring goals and creating opportunities.

Per WhoScored.com, over the last couple of years he's been the most prolific midfielder in Dutch football:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Donny van de Beek: Has had a direct hand in more goals (38 -- 21 goals, 17 assists) than any other central midfielder since the start of the 2017/18 Eredivisie season For more player stats -- https://t.co/BMu3FKfZM4 https://t.co/US97bLb8bj

Under Zidane, Madrid won three successive Champions League titles, with Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro forming a formidable heart of midfield. In 2018-19, there were small signs of that trio becoming a little one-dimensional.

With his positivity in possession, runs into the penalty area and nose for goals, Van de Beek would add a different edge to Madrid's play. While Ajax appear keen to keep him, you sense that if Los Blancos make him a priority acquisition, the deal will get over the line before the transfer window shuts.