Anderlecht’s director of football Herman Van Holsbeeck has admitted that the club would let midfielder Leander Dendoncker join Manchester United for a fee ranging between €25m and €35m.
The 22-year-old midfielder featured during both legs of Man United’s Europa League quarter final clash with the Belgian champions and scored a late equaliser in the first leg.
Reports have suggested that Jose Mourinho, struggling in his pursuit of a defensive midfielder, had pin-pointed Dendoncker as a potential option.
And Van Holsbeeck, speaking on the subject of Dendoncker, noted that there was a price at which they would consider selling him.
“We want to cherish him, but if a club is willing to pay between 25 and 35 million, we have a problem,” he admitted.
“Against Manchester United, he has shown twice that he has the potential to play at a top European club. We are lucky that the Champions League will not start until September, otherwise we’d have certainly lost him. We would like to see Leander here another year, to work together for a transfer next summer. Just as we did with Tielemans.”
This is an important development because it means that, if all else fails and United are left with no new defensive midfielder on the eve of the 2017/18 campaign, they can turn to Anderlecht and offer a sum that will guarantee Dendoncker’s services without much of a fuss.
And we shouldn’t underestimate Anderlecht’s record of producing players that go on to succeed in the higher echelons of Europe’s footballing landscape: Vincent Kompany, Youri Tielemans (now with AS Monaco) and, of course, Romelu Lukaku.
Supporters will watch on keenly to see whether Dendoncker follows in their footsteps.