Anderlecht sporting director confirms Leander Dendoncker will be allowed to leave next summer

by Leo Nieboer

Anderlecht porting director Herman Van Holsbeeck has confirmed that the club will allow Manchester United target Leander Dendoncker to leave the Belgian side over the summer.

The midfielder enjoyed his finest season yet with Anderlecht last season, making 56 appearances in total and scoring an equaliser against Man United in the Europa League back in April.

Various reports suggested that United were lining up a deal for the 22-year-old – valued at £27m – in case they failed to sign either Eric Dier or Nemanja Matic over the summer.

And Van Holsbeeck, speaking to Sport/Foot, revealed that the club would work with Dendoncker to help secure a move elsewhere in the summer, paving the way for Jose Mourinho to make a bid.

“Dendoncker’s head was elsewhere,” he said.

“He showed his disappointment during training at not being transferred. His mate [Youri] Tielemans went to Monaco, and he was training with the national team, and he wanted, like them, to play in the biggest leagues.

“Certain people in his entourage put pressure on me, on the club or on his agent, Christophe Henrotay. Today, we’re prepared to pay him based on his status of key player and to work on his future transfer like we did for Youri. In fact, we all have an interest in working together.”

Mourinho currently has an eclectic and plentiful midfield at his disposal: Paul Pogba, Michael Carrick, Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini and Scott McTominay all offer something different, with Andreas Pereira also capable of having an important impact once he returns from Valencia.

But that dynamic will change next year: Fellaini and Carrick, for example, are likely to move on with their contracts expiring in June and Mourinho, in turn, could be tempted to shell out a modest £27m to add a truly talented midfield prospect to his ranks.

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