Heartbroken Donny van de Beek dedicates Man Utd move to ‘dying’ first coach Harm Grevink who is battling cancer

MANCHESTER UNITED midfielder Donny van de Beek has revealed he longed to move to a bigger club to fulfil the dream of his dying former coach.

The 23-year-old completed his £39million switch to Old Trafford from Ajax on Wednesday in what was the Red Devils' first signing of the summer.

And the Dutch international has opened up on why he was desperate to leave the Eredivisie outfit.

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Van de Beek has admitted that it has always been former coach Harm Grevink's wish for him to join one of Europe's elite teams.

Grevink brought Van de Beek to Ajax after spotting him at Veensche Boys, with the player going on to feature in 175 games for the club.

And Van de Beek has been overcome with emotion after fulfilling the 73-year-old's dream, with his mentor not having long left to live having been diagnosed with cancer.

The 2018-19 Eredivisie winner has also stated the coronavirus crisis scuppered his potential move to Real Madrid, leaving him more determined to join United.


He said: "Harm was the man who spotted my talent as a kid. He told me I had the talent to become a professional player and he took me to Ajax.

"Whenever I was away from the club, we were training skills and all sorts. He was like a private coach.

"Sadly now he is dying – but he had one dream for me. He wanted to live to see my transfer to a big club, the next big stage in my career.

"We thought it was going to be Real Madrid. That did not work out, for ­various ­different reasons.

"Now I have joined an absolutely fantastic club in the biggest competition in the world.

"The fact that Harm knows that I am now a Manchester United player, among all those other great players at Old Trafford, fills me with joy. Because Harm is a wonderful man."

Despite United fans praising the signing of Van de Beek, pundit Paul Mersonbelieves the purchase is nothing more than a 'panic buy'.

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