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Real Madrid's Pogba 'Plan B': Van de Beek

Real Madrid's pre-season fiasco is clear evidence that Zidane needs reinforcement in midfield and the club have their Pogba ‘Plan B’ in place: Donny van de Beek.

Donny van de Beek, jugador del Ajax.
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Real Madrid is focused on fulfilling the wishes of Zinedine Zidane by signing Paul Pogba, but the club is also keeping one eye on the market should the complicated operation with Manchester United fall through.

The pre-season fiasco (three losses, one win, one draw) is clear evidence that the French coach needs reinforcement in midfield and the club have their Pogba ‘Plan B’ in place: Donny van de Beek.

Along with Frenkie De Jong and Matthijs De Ligt, the young Dutch midfielder played an instrumental role in Ajax’s road to the Champions League semi-final last season (their best finish in 22 years) which has put him on the radar of Europe’s big guns.

The 22-year-old stood out at the Bernabéu in the Last 16 second leg and assisted Dusan Tadic’s goal in the shock 4-1 victory over Madrid, before going to score against Juventus in Turin in the quarter finals. Overall, Van de Beek played 57 matches last season, providing 17 goals and 13 assists.

Ajax trying best to hold onto Van de Beek

Several clubs have contacted Ajax regarding the midfielder, but after the sales of De Ligt (Juventus) and De Jong (Barcelona), the Eredivisie champions have, for now, managed to retain him. Although they know that will be difficult in the long run.

“Ajax cannot keep its big stars for too long. If they want to leave and win things beyond here we are not able to retain them,” the club’s sports director, Marc Overmars, has acknowledged.

Ajax value Van de Beek at 60 million euros, an amount much lower than the 170-million-euro price-tag United have put on Pogba. If the Red Devils do prevent Madrid from satisfying Zidane’s demands, the club see Van de Beek as the next best option.