Erik ten Hag keen to snatch Ajax's Timber as his first summer signing

Erik ten Hag ‘eager to snatch Ajax youngster Jurrien Timber as his first summer signing for Manchester United’, with Red Devils in drastic need of a defensive makeover having shipped a record-high 57 goals in the Premier League last season

  • Manchester United are in talks with Ajax over the signing of Jurrien Timber
  • Erik ten Hag formerly coached the 20-year-old during his time in Amsterdam
  • The young Dutch defender at operate at centre-half and as a full-back
  • Manchester United are also keen to lure Villareal’s Pau Torres to Old Trafford 

Manchester United have been reportedly holding talks with Ajax over the signing of defender Jurrien Timber, who is high on Erik ten Hag’s transfer shortlist.

The new Red Devils boss is keen for the 20-year-old to follow in his footsteps and make the switch from Ajax to Old Trafford this summer, according to the Guardian.

Following Manchester United’s record-low 57 goals conceded last season, the new Dutch chief will be expected to revamp the back line and improve defensively ahead of August.

Jurrien Timber helped Erik ten Hag win consecutive Eredivisie titles in 2020-21 and 2021-22 

Timber played a pivotal role in both of Ten Hag’s title-winning campaigns with Ajax, after the Dutch boss offered him an Eredivisie debut in March 2020.

Although he operates predominantly as a central defender, rivalling club captain Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof to spots at the heart of defence, he can also be deployed as a full-back if required.

The young United target made 43 appearances for Ajax in all competitions last season, including eight Champions League caps – he provided three goals and two assists across the campaign.

The young Ajax defender has already made six senior international caps for the Netherlands

Ajax reportedly value Timber at £43 million and have themselves offered the defender new terms despite United’s initial interest.

Villareal defender and Spanish international Pau Torres, 25, is also on Ten Hag’s radar, providing slightly more experience than his former Ajax colleague. 

As it stands, in order to lure Torres to Old Trafford, Manchester United would need to meet the €60 million release clause set out in his contract.

The new Red Devils boss won six domestic trophies in five seasons whilst in Amsterdam

Pau Torres’ defending helped Villareal make the Champions League semi-finals this season

But Torres has reportedly been offered a new deal to keep him in Spain.

Speaking about his future away from Villareal, the Spaniard told AS: ‘Right now there is nothing at all. 

‘I have peace of mind of being where they want me, at the club of my life and I have this offer right now that I value as very positive.’

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