Reported Manchester United and Erik ten Hag target Brian Brobbey is set to join Ajax from RB Leipzig in a permanent move, according to reliable Dutch journalist Mike Verweij.
In a deal worth around £17m, the Dutch club is set to re-sign Brobbey just one year after his departure to the Bundesliga, in which the striker failed to live up to expectations. Brobbey returned to Ajax on loan in the second half of last season, making valuable contributions to help Ajax lift the Eredivisie.
A week ago, reports emerged that United had joined the race to sign Brobbey and looked intent on hijacking a move to Ajax, with manager Erik ten Hag personally calling the player to convince him of a possible Old Trafford reunion.
Brobbey once joked about joining United, which he has previously described as his dream club. In a post-match interview in April, the striker joked, “I am very happy for him, and he really deserves it after everything he has done for Ajax,” shortly after Ten Hag’s appointment was confirmed. “If only he brings me with him in two years… joking!”
With Ronaldo’s future at the club in doubt, which would leave Martial as the only other natural number nine at the Theater of Dreams, it made sense that United were in for Brobbey.
However, United now looks set to miss out on the 20 year old’s services, with the player keen on a return to Ajax over a move to the Premier League.
The Jong Oranje player, according to Verweij, is said to have made a phone call to his former manager Ten Hag to explain his decision to make a return to Amsterdam.
The Dutch champions, who have already lost a number of players, including Ivory Coast talisman Sebastian Haller, are in pole position to sign Brobbey as a replacement ahead of the Red Devils.
While Ajax chiefs are reportedly hurt by the prospect of paying a transfer fee for a player who came through their ranks, in true Ajax fashion, the Dutch club is confident of recouping their money in the event they decide to sell Brobbey in the future.
Ajax have also been linked with another striker, Francisco Conceicao, in a deal worth £5m, with the mega talent making a move from Portuguese giants Porto to join Brobbey in Amsterdam.
Brobbey’s United snub represents yet another blow for the club in the current transfer window as Ten Hag looks to bolster his attacking options ahead of the new campaign. It may prove difficult for United to find another striker of Brobbey’s quality for his reported price tag.
It is crucial that United move quickly to other offensive targets after missing out on Brobbey to give Erik ten Hag another striker option he evidently requires as he looks to shape the squad in his image and philosophy.