Everton have reportedly ended their pursuit of Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek following the departure of Marcel Brands.

According to a report from ESPN, Everton have abandoned their pursuit of Manchester United outcast Donny van de Beek following the exit of Marcel Brands as director of football at Goodison Park.

Once regarded as one of the most promising midfield talents in Europe, van de Beek’s stock continues to take a significant hit in the market since leaving Amsterdam. Known for playing a starring role in Ajax’s remarkable run to the Champions League semi-finals in 2019, the Dutchman has largely struggled for game time at Manchester United, hampering his career progression.

Van de Beek was notoriously overlooked by former Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who gave him just 19 starts over his one-and-a-half-year tenure at Old Trafford. Having found himself continually frustrated under the Norwegian manager, he looks set to be given a clean slate and a much fairer chance under new interim boss Ralf Ragnick.

He got a substitute appearance in the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace before being handed his first start under the German boss against Young Boys in the Champions League. While he had a decent game, the versatile midfielder was also culpable for the opposition’s equaliser, giving possession away cheaply, which certainly did not do him any favours in giving the German coach a selection headache.

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The same report suggests that Ragnick identified Red Devils’ midfield as an area of weakness and would look to bring in reinforcements in the upcoming January window, with RB Leipzig’s Amadou Haidara and Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham mentioned as potential targets, which would be a crushing blow to van de Beek’s prospects of becoming a regular at Old Trafford.

While there is understood to be no shortage of suitors vying for the Dutchman’s signature with Juventus also entering the fray alongside Newcastle United, one club that will not be chasing van de Beek is Everton. The report states that the Toffees ended their interest in the Netherlands international when Marcel Brands stepped down as director of football at Goodison Park.

Brands is claimed to have been the driving factor behind the loan bid to sign the ex-Ajax sensation in the summer, though the United hierarchy was unwilling to allow him to leave just a year following his big-money move. Rafael Benitez was said to have held reservations over the pursuit. With Brands now out of the building, the Spanish boss will majorly influence Everton’s transfer business and may look elsewhere for midfield reinforcements.

The Dutch playmaker continues to work on his match fitness and will most likely improve as he gets regular minutes if the German manager entrusts him to anchor the Manchester United midfield. Only time will tell where the 24-year-old lands in January or ends up staying at Old Trafford making a complete U-turn.

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