Manchester United‘s hopes of signing Ajax defender Jurrien Timber this summer have taken a blow, with the Dutch centre-back reportedly concerned about his prospective playing time at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils have been heavily linked with the 20-year-old in recent weeks, with the youngster seemingly keen on following his former manager Erik ten Hag to the Premier League.
However, Dutch news outlet De Telegraaf have now thrown a spanner in the works, with their report claiming that Ajax are growing increasingly confident of keeping Timber in Amsterdam, as he targets a regular starting spot for the Netherlands ahead of the World Cup in Qatar later this year.
Defensive reinforcements are going to be pivotal for United this summer if they are to improve on what was a disastrous 2021/22 campaign.
The Red Devils shipped 57 goals in the Premier League and finished with a level goal difference, while they also produced shocking performances against Middlesbrough, West Ham and Atletico Madrid to crash out of all three knockout competitions in the round of 16 or an earlier stage.
Despite being United’s best-performing defender in the league last season according to WhoScored, recent reports have suggested that Ten Hag does not rate Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Timber would have been an excellent replacement for the former Crystal Palace man, as he can also fill in at right-back.
The Ajax youngster averaged a superb 7.40 rating from WhoScored for his performances in the Eredivisie this season and is highly rated by Ten Hag, who made him a regular presence in the side, so the 20-year-old would surely be an excellent addition to the Dutch manager’s squad at Old Trafford.
The new United boss spoke highly of Timber earlier in the summer, saying: “He is another great leader that was trained at Ajax. Besides his football skills he has the personality to become a captain.”
Although Ten Hag has experienced defenders such as Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof at his disposal next season, he should perhaps consider making certain assurances to the £27m-rated Timber to ensure that the youngster ends up at Old Trafford this summer. Otherwise, the Red Devils risk losing out on a serious talent.