The 23-year-old is set to be announced as a Manchester United player this week after passing a medical in Amsterdam on Monday.
Real Madrid and Barcelona had both shown interest in Van de Beek prior to the global pandemic but the financial impact of the shutdown of football meant neither side felt they could finance a deal for the midfielder.
However, Sjaak Swart, Van de Beek’s agent, has revealed that United faced competition closer to home in the form of Arsenal – but the Gunners couldn’t afford to sign the Dutchman.
‘They [Arsenal] really wanted him — they just couldn’t get the money for a transfer,’ said Swart.
‘Even the biggest clubs struggle. Arsenal is a great club, Manchester United will certainly be an interesting adventure.
‘Manchester United is certainly the right choice. There were more clubs with interest, such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and Arsenal — but it all came to an end because of the Coronavirus.’
The Gunners are mulling a £30m offer from PSG for Hector Bellerin as Mikel Arteta has been told he must sell before he can buy again.
United, meanwhile, want to sign Jadon Sancho but they’re refusing to meet Dortmund’s £108m asking price.