Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek was the subject of late interest from Everton last month, but manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ruled out his loan exit.
The Dutchman’s agent Guido Albers has since confirmed that he was in contact with the Merseyside outfit while criticising the handling of his client by the Red Devils.
Van de Beek was restricted to just over 500 minutes in the Premier League last season. Despite a promising pre-season, he has yet to get off the bench in the current campaign.
His situation appears bleak as the signings of Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho could further hamper his prospects of securing playing time.
Van de Beek found himself below Fred, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic for a midfield role earlier this year. Paul Pogba played higher up the field on the left-wing.
However, there are high chances that Pogba could drop into central midfield in the coming months with the vast number of wide attacking options in the squad.
Mason Greenwood has made a superb start to the campaign with three goals in as many games, and he may have to switch wide with Ronaldo expected to lead the line.
There is further competition from Jadon Sancho, Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard. Marcus Rashford and Amad Diallo could also feature when they return from injuries.
Elsewhere, Bruno Fernandes has been almost ever-present in the number 10 role across all competitions. Van de Beek is not expected to displace him anytime soon.
Considering this, Van de Beek finds himself in a difficult situation, where he could be a regular unused substitute with occasional starts in the Carabao and FA Cups.
He has already received a stern reminder from returning Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal, who has stated that he must play regularly to be picked for the international games.
Van de Beek did not face such a situation under former manager Frank de Boer, but it is now a matter of concern for him with the prospect of playing at next year’s World Cup.
The midfielder may assess his situation over the next four months. He may need to push for at least a temporary exit in January if he continues to be ignored by Solskjaer.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com.