Real Madrid: Is Barcelona driving up the price for Donny van de Beek?

Real Madrid have been monitoring Ajax star midfielder Donny van de Beek for quite some time, but could Barcelona be plotting a surprise swoop for another future superstar from the Eredivisie team?

Donny van de Beek played a key role in Ajax’s sensational Champions League run in 2018-2019, and the 23-year-old center midfielder already has seven goals and five assists in all competitions in 2019-2020. Real Madrid have been linked to van de Beek for several months, with a report from De Telegraaf indicating he could move for 55 million euros next summer.

Real Madrid were once desperate for center midfield help, as Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, and Isco were coming off down 2018-2019 campaigns. But Kroos has been brilliant this season, while Isco and Modric have shown their talent this season. Meanwhile, Fede Valverde has broken out as a 21-year-old, showing he has the class to be one of the best at his position for years to come.

That said, van de Beek remains an intriguing proposition for Real due to his youth at 23, his technical quality, and his intangibles as a leader.

Sport report that Real’s bitter rivals FC Barcelona are plotting to engage in a bidding war for van de Beek. Barca also have interest in center midfield help next summer and are already linked to a few Los Blancos targets, such as Napoli’s Spain international Fabian Ruiz and Chelsea star N’Golo Kante as a longshot option.

Van de Beek looks like the most realistic target for either Real or Barca. Per Sport, he can be acquired for the modest price of 50 to 60 million euros, noting Telegraaf’s earlier report of a tantalizing 55 million euro offer from van de Beek.

The player isn’t going to listen to offers until the season is over, since he’s fully committed to helping Ajax win trophies in 2019-2020. But beyond this season, he looks almost guaranteed to move to a top club in the summer, with Real Madrid looking like the most likely landing spot.

Barcelona, however, may be interested in teaming him up with rising star Frenkie de Jong at Camp Nou. But they may be also interested in driving up van de Beek’s transfer price to hurt their rivals financially. Real, after all, have their eyes on other expensive young targets, such as Ligue 1 stars Kylian Mbappe and Eduardo Camavinga.