Fabrizio Romano has revealed that Ajax “blocked” Manchester United from signing Brian Brobbey during the summer transfer window.
It felt inevitable that United would raid Ajax in the summer following Erik ten Hag’s arrival and they did just that.
Over £140m was spent to sign Lisandro Martinez and Antony from the Eredivisie champions. They were also linked with Jurrien Timber before the defender ended up committing his future to Ajax.
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Brobbey was another Ajax player Man Utd were linked with. The young forward returned to the club on loan last season from Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig.
He shone under Ten Hag towards the end of the campaign as he grabbed seven goals in eleven appearances in the league.
The 20-year-old has spoken glowingly about Ten Hag in recent months and in the summer his return to Ajax was made permanent.
Speaking after this move, he did admit that it is a “dream” of his to play for Man Utd:
“Dream club? Manchester United. Erik sent me a message, yes, to congratulate me, and to tell me that he would like to have me at Manchester United.
“But I’m not finished at Ajax yet, I want to show something here first.”
After joining Ajax on loan last season, he stated: “I absolutely wanted to go to Ajax.
“Erik also wanted to work with me, texted once if I was open to it, but I thanked him nicely.
“I wanted to go back. My friends here, Ajax’s playing style, it just wasn’t finished yet.”
Transfer guru Romano has now lifted the lid on Man Utd’s attempts to sign Brobbey in the summer.
He insists that there was “never a concrete negotiation” as Ajax had no interest in letting him go before the 2022/23 season:
“We know Manchester United had a busy summer, in particular with raiding Erik ten Hag’s former club Ajax,” Romano wrote for Caught Offside.
“Along with signing Lisandro Martinez and Antony, they were also interested in Jurrien Timber, and that’s not the only move Ajax blocked.
“Brian Brobbey has opened up about an approach from Ten Hag, and he’s made it clear in an interview with ESPN that he would love to play for United, but what really went on with these talks?
“There was only one approach between Ten Hag and Brobbey but the player was already blocked by Ajax, it was never a concrete negotiation.
“As for the future, that will depend on Brobbey’s performances at Ajax, he needs to be regular and consistent: I think he’s a great talent but he has to prove his skills with a top-level season.”
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