In recent years, when a player is in the process of leaving Ajax there’s endless targeted leaks to hype the situation, attempt to flush out interest from elsewhere, and pressure any club which may be genuinely interested.

Before Frenkie de Jong moved to Barcelona, there was a front page De Telegraaf story saying he was actually going to PSG. When Matthijs de Ligt was edging closer to Juventus, Manchester United fans may remember their club was linked strongly by the Catalan media.

Saturday morning saw Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo report Manchester United and Tottenham had made contact for Donny van de Beek. Sport, another Catalan newspaper, then reported the midfielder had told his teammates he’d be heading to Old Trafford.

There was an attempt to say Barcelona were losing out, although it was hard for the Catalan media to do that because they’ve made it clear for a while that whilst Van de Beek was an idea, he wasn’t being seriously chased.

The Ajax midfielder had his own big De Telegraaf story at the beginning of the year, in which it was claimed Real Madrid had agreed a deal to sign him, and he’d be moving as soon as the summer window opened.

Now the slant on that is the Covid-19 crisis prevented Madrid going through with it, but that’s revisionism given the media closest to the Spanish club dismissed the claims before the pandemic even took hold.

Dutch newspaper AD now reports Manchester United were spurred into action this weekend by interest from elsewhere.

AjaxShowTime have picked up the video comments, and relay what was said: ‘The Van de Beek camp wanted to prevent injuries. Manchester United noticed that the competition for Van de Beek increased. Tottenham signed up for the Dutchman, Paris Saint-Germain passed and Manchester City also showed interest. Then Manchester United took the plunge and said: we are so convinced of this player, we need him. On Sunday afternoon, Manchester United agreed with Van de Beek himself and on Sunday evening with Ajax.’

Tottenham, Manchester City and PSG are said to have been ‘concrete’ for the player, yet given all the previous claims it’s hard to fully believe it. However, the scenario of Ajax giving United the impression of other teams coming in, and that working to speed up the move, is very believable.

De Telegraaf are reporting similar, with a headline saying ‘Suddenly the whole world wanted Donny van de Beek’, they go on to state: ‘The fact that the Manchester United leadership suddenly rushed the transfer on Sunday had everything to do with the great competition that threatened. Ed Woodward (vice-chairman and executive director), after missing out on another star player, Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, felt obliged to close the case now.’