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Erik ten Hag resigned to losing Ajax star Donny van de Beek

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Ajax manager Erik ten Hag accepts Donny van de Beek’s possible departure for Real Madrid this summer “can happen”.

Ajax enjoyed an incredible 2018/19 campaign, which saw them reach the Champions League semi-finals on route to a domestic double. They even pulled off a few upsets by defeating Real Madrid and Juventus.

But the Dutch champions’ great success over the past 12 months has caused big European clubs to pursue their talented youngsters. So far, Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong have already left for Juventus and Barcelona respectively.

And now it seems Van de Beek could be the next star out of Amsterdam this summer. The 22-year-old even confirmed on Friday that Real have expressed an interest in signing him.

The Spanish press claim that the Netherlands international is Los Blancos’ Plan B should they fail to sign number one midfield target Paul Pogba from Manchester United.

However, Ten Hag promised supporters in Amsterdam both himself and the club will fight hard to retain Van de Beek. Although he conceded it won’t be easy, with Real knocking on his door.

“We will do everything in our power to keep him at Ajax,” said Ten Hag, according to Marca.

“We don’t want to lose him, but when clubs of that calibre enter the situation, things get very difficult.

“Donny was very important for us last season and has started this campaign with enthusiasm, freshness and lots of energy, his departure would be a loss, but we know it can happen.”

On the loss of his key players this summer, the Dutchman added: “We’re a small country and, when we show what we can do last year, you know these things are going to be put into motion.”

Ajax will travel to Vitesse on Saturday evening for the opening game of the 2019/20 Eredivisie campaign. The match will begin at 18:30 (CET).

DOETINCHEM, NETHERLANDS – MAY 15: Donny van de Beek of Ajax celebrates with team mates holding the Eredivisie trophy after the Eredivisie match between De Graafschap and Ajax at Stadion De Vijverberg on May 15, 2019 in Doetinchem, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)