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Everton director of football Marcel Brands has confirmed the club were interested in signing Manchester United outcast Donny Van de Beek in the summer and may look to do so again in January.
The Toffees were rumoured to be close to signing the Dutchman on loan in the last few days of the August transfer window but could not get the deal over the line.
"We had him (Van de Beek) on our list," Brands told Dutch broadcaster NOS, as quoted by the Daily Mail. "At the beginning of the transfer, we made an enquiry to United, then it was impossible.
"At the end of the window, I received a call from Guido Albers, his agent, that he might be loaned out after all. But at the last minute it was cancelled. Stopped again."
When asked whether he and manager Rafael Benítez will revive their interest in the 24 year old in less than three months' time, Brands said it was too early to say.
"You always depend on whether a club wants to co-operate," he continued. "And it is early October, so much can still happen with injuries. United are playing on various fronts. It's hard to say now."
Since moving to Old Trafford last summer, Van de Beek has made just 39 appearances in all competitions, scoring once and assisting twice. His frustration at his lack of playing time was made clear during The Red Devils' victory against Villarreal in the Champions League, in which the former Ajax man threw his chewing gum to the floor after not being chosen as their next substitute by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær.
Brands, who has pulled the strings behind the scenes at Goodison Park since 2018, admits it's a shame to see the midfielder struggling.
"It is of course a pity for Donny," the ex- PSV Eindhoven director of football added. "He is a very good player, no doubt about it.
"Such a boy wants to play and wants to return to the Dutch national team. But you know that at such a club the pressure is great and the competition is huge."
Could Van de Beek join the likes of Phil Neville, Darron Gibson, Louis Saha, Tom Cleverley and a certain Wayne Rooney in making the switch from the red of Manchester to the blue of Merseyside?
Stranger things have happened.
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