The Netherlands international has been tipped to be the latest Ajax academy graduate to make a big-money move this summer
Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek has confirmed that Real Madrid have shown an interest in him and insists he has been not concerned by reports he has been their second choice target after Paul Pogba.
The 22-year-old has been tipped to follow Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong out of Ajax this summer after playing a starring role in the Dutch side’s run to the Champions League semi-finals last season.
Real Madrid are among a host of top European sides credited with an interest in the midfielder as Los Blancos continue their squad rebuild under returning boss Zinedine Zidane.
When asked about the speculation Van de Beek confirmed Real’s interest, telling Fox Sports: “Of course I hear stuff like that from time to time and it’s always good to hear about it.
“But the situation has been still the same, even though the media keep creating new stories.
“Of course there has been interest, but people tend to rush to conclusions about that.”
Fresh reports this week claimed that Real have only turned their attentions to Van de Beek after being frustrated in their attempts to sign Manchester United’s Paul Pogba.
The France international’s agent, Mino Raiola, confirmed he has been in the process of negotiating a move away from Old Trafford this summer, with Madrid and Juventus the top candidates to sign him.
However, an agreement has yet to be reached which has prompted Madrid to consider other targets.
When asked about how he felt being second choice after Pogba, Van de Beek added: “I haven’t heard it being talked about like that, but it could be true. There’s more to it than what’s in the newspapers, but you don’t have to believe everything that has been written.
“There’s always a lot of nonsense. I don’t have to tell you what has been and isn’t true, but again, I’m focusing on Saturday [Ajax’s Eredivisie season opener vs Vitesse] and the rest has been up to you guys.”
Having seen de Ligt and de Jong leave for Juventus and Barcelona respectively, Ajax boss Erik ten Hag has been realistic and accepts the club faces a battle to keep hold of another of their star players.
He does, however, insist they will not let Van de Beek go without a fight.
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“Of course we don’t want to lose him, so we have to do all we can to keep him here,” he said.
“But when clubs like that come around… it will be very tough. We did very well last year, so you know the players will be wanted [by other teams].
“We’re a small football country. It’s just how it works. How important has been Donny for us? That’s obvious. He’s developed at a mega rate. He has been extremely important.”