Gary Neville thinks the signing of Donny van de Beek in the summer transfer window shows that Man Utd are “preparing for someone leaving”.
The Dutch international has endured a tough start to life at Old Trafford since joining from Ajax.
He’s spent much of his first few months on the bench and has failed to appear in United’s last five Premier League matches, with the 23-year-old staying on the bench in their 0-0 draw with Liverpool on Sunday.
And Neville reckons the reason Man Utd signed Van de Beek in the summer was because their recruitment depart are expecting a midfielder to leave soon.
“It’s interesting, something’s happened – the Van de Beek signing’s an interesting one – I still can’t get my head around it,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“It’s almost as if that signing was sort of done in anticipation of one of the others leaving because Van de Beek has just sat on the bench for the last few months and he cost £40m. I think that Manchester United are preparing for someone leaving.
“Nemanja Matic might be finishing at the end of next season, maybe, maybe Pogba could leave.
“So they’ve already got Van de Beek in to maybe assume that role, but I think now, the way Paul Pogba’s playing and the way Manchester United’s season is going, there’s no one who’s going to come in in January and buy Paul Pogba, I don’t think Manchester United would let him go.”
On criticism of United’s handling of Van de Beek since his arrival, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer recently said: “There are so many examples of players needing a little bit of time, quality players, we have many examples ourselves and there are other clubs with examples and sometimes it takes time.
“You don’t expect people who care for him to be quiet at times, especially when they want the best for them. Donny is going to play tomorrow, it’s another chance for him.
“And, yes, I’ve spoken to him and made him aware of how much we rate him, but he will play tomorrow and it’s a good chance again for him to kick on.”