Manchester United misfit Donny van de Beek may have blown his chance of escaping Old Trafford this month after ditching his agent in a fit of anger.
Van de Beek split with long-term adviser Guido Albers in October after seeing a loan move to Everton collapse in the summer.
But his decision to ask rival agent Ali Dursan to find him a move during the January transfer window has backfired after Albers refused to release the Dutch midfielder from a binding contract they agreed 18 months ago.
Dursan cannot secure a mandate to represent Van de Beek without Albers’ permission – and the stalemate means the £35.7million signing from Ajax is set to spend the rest of the season sitting on the United bench.
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A Dutch insider said: “It is very difficult to see how Van de Beek can move in this window. Dursan cannot secure a mandate to agree a deal because Donny is still under contract to be represented by Albers’ agency.
“That two-year agreement does not expire till the end of the season. So, unless something changes, the player will remain in Manchester.”
Van de Beek has made just 19 starts since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer launched a charm offensive and convinced him to join United in September 2020.
The 24-year-old was courted by Barcelona before moving to the Premier League.
And it is believed that he had hoped the Catalan club would rescue him from United after he opted to ditch Albers for Dursan, the agent who brokered Frenkie de Jong’s £63m move to the Nou Camp two years ago.
Relegation-threatened Newcastle are also interested as they look to bring in new signings to keep them in the Premier League.
Solskjaer’s sacking and arrival of interim boss Ralf Rangnick has not improved Van de Beek’s prospects at Old Trafford.
He has played just 96 minutes under Rangnick and has been left unused on the bench for the last two games.
United entertain Wolves tomorrow night looking to build on a solid, if unspectacular, start under the German.
Rangnick joined TV pundit Gary Neville in criticising the body-language of some of his players ahead of the 3-1 victory over Burnley on Thursday night.
And defender Diogo Dalot said: “We always have the opportunity to give a good image and good performance.
“We know we have the quality, but we need to give a little extra on everything. We need to beat teams on energy.
“They always fight – and we need to be ready for that challenge. We have fantastic players up front, who give us opportunities to score, so we need a solid defence to keep the goals out.”
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Rangnick is famous for demanding a high-tempo approach from his players, based on the need to press the opposition.
That has opened the door for Dalot, who is expected to return to the starting team now after being left out for Aaron Wan-Bissaka against Burnley.
Dalot added: “When the manager wants to change formation, you must have that intelligence and quick way to adapt.
“It takes time to make it perfect, to make it solid, but we want to build on that.
“He [Rangnick] wants us to be physical and intense. It’s typical from Germany, I can say this. It fits the players that we have and the mentality we have. We are doing a good job.”