Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek has reportedly emerged as a loan target for former club AFC Ajax ahead of the January transfer window.

According to a report from Turkish journalist Ekrem Konur, Dutch giants AFC Ajax are considering a January loan swoop for former midfielder Donny van de Beek, who is struggling for game-time at Manchester United.

Van de Beek joined the Ajax youth academy in 2008 and rose quite rapidly through the ranks, making his first-team breakthrough back in 2015, at the age of 18. The midfielder slowly established himself as a regular for the Eredivisie giants, going on to rack up 175 appearances, in which he managed a return of 41 goals and 34 assists.

Van de Beek put himself on the map with a stunning 2018/19 season, when he helped Ajax to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League. While he attracted a lot of interest from clubs across Europe that summer, the midfielder stayed with the Dutch outfit for another season, before securing a transfer to Manchester United last year in a move worth over £35 million.

Van de Beek scored a goal on his debut for the Red Devils, but it has gone downhill from that point for the 24-year-old ever since. To date, he has managed to make just 39 appearances for the Premier League giants, out of which only four have been starts in the Premier League. The midfielder came close to securing an exit in the summer, only for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to block a late move to Everton.

Van de Beek set for a return to Ajax? (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Van de Beek set for a return to Ajax? (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Having retained his services, the Manchester United manager has failed to hand him game-time yet again, with Van de Beek featuring in just three games so far this season. At this point, an exit in the January transfer window looks inevitable for the Netherlands international, and there is a lot of interest in his services, with a number of clubs in England and Europe vying to sign him.

Now, Ajax too have entered the picture for the signing of the 24-year-old as they line up a loan move for their former midfielder in January. The Dutch giants have made a fine start to the season, domestically and in Europe, and look set to compete strongly on all fronts. So, strength in depth will come in handy if Erik ten Hag’s side go deep in the Champions League.

Van de Beek, who is a known entity at the club, would thus be a fine signing as he can slot in seamlessly and make a difference for the team. At the same time, the midfielder will also be benefitted by returning to familiar surroundings where he can play regularly and rebuild his confidence up, which would indirectly help Manchester United.

It now remains to be seen if van de Beek ends up securing a return to Amsterdam come January or moves elsewhere. But a parting of ways with Manchester United, even if it is on a loan deal, would be a welcome move for all parties involved.

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