Ten Hag ‘would take’ Ajax star ‘tomorrow’ as Man Utd target makes stance on summer transfer clear
Erik ten Hag would reportedly sign Ajax defender Jurrien Timber right away if Man Utd were afforded the opportunity to take him from the Dutch giants.
Ten Hag was keen to raid Ajax during last summer’s transfer window after he left the club to join Man Utd.
He was able to bring Lisandro Martinez and Antony with him as United paid sizable fees to prize them away from Ajax.
But Ten Hag was also interested in Timber, who ended up signing a new contract to commit his future to the Eredivisie outfit.
This comes after Louis van Gaal advised Timber that he should avoid joining Man Utd from Ajax.
“I think a player of his quality can play in the Premier League. That is not a problem,” Van Gaal said last June.
“If he has to make this big step now, that’s the question.
“It is not so wise I think [to move to United]. He has to play.”
The 21-year-old penned a contract until 2025 but 90min are reporting that he has ‘asked his representatives to explore the chances of a summer transfer away’.
The report states that Man Utd are ‘prioritising’ a new striker and centre-midfielder this summer but they are ‘looking to upgrade in both central defence and at right-back should the right player become available’.
It is noted in the report that Timber is capable of playing as a centre-back and right-back, so he could potentially be a replacement for Harry Maguire and/or Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Though it is worth highlighting that the Ajax man has only played in the middle this season.
90min adds that ‘one source close to the Dutch club quipped Ten Hag “would take Timber tomorrow” if presented the opportunity, and that Timber would play anywhere for the manager who introduced him to senior football’.
Timber is ‘ready to move’ if the current opportunity arises but Man Utd are not the only club interested in him. There is also ‘interest’ from Liverpool and Tottenham, while Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Atletico Madrid and Marseille are other potential destinations.
Speaking while he was still Ajax’s head coach, Ten Hag claimed that Timber has the “potential to become a captain”.
“He is another great leader that was trained at Ajax,” Ten Hag said.
“Besides his football skills he has the personality to become a captain.”
In a separate interview before joining United, he stated: “I think that all top clubs in Europe have Timber in their sights.
“But I think that currently applies to a lot of Ajax players.
“If Antony were to go, it would be a loss for Ajax, because you have no-one in the current selection who can take over his position. He is top class.”
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