Erik ten Hag sets out plans for Man Utd
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Ajax defender Jurrien Timber could decide to snub a move to Manchester United due to concerns over whether the proposed switch would damage his hopes of making the Netherlands squad for this year’s World Cup, according to reports. The Red Devils are said to have already opened talks over a move for Timber, who has emerged as one of Ajax’s most exciting young players over the course of this season.
United are said to have prioritised the addition of Timber to shore up Erik ten Hag’s defensive ranks ahead of the new campaign, but it seems as though the 20-year-old may decide against joining the Red Devils in the near future. He is said to be ‘worried’ about the prospect of swapping Ajax for United as he feels it could put his World Cup dream in jeopardy, according to The Mirror.
It is said that Timber is aware that he could be overlooked by Netherlands head coach Louis van Gaal if he fails to hold down a regular place in the side at Old Trafford during the first half of next season. He is now agonising over whether to call off the proposed switch, although a compromise that would see him join United in January is not yet out of the question.
Timber stands at just five feet and nine inches tall and doubts have already been raised over his ability to adapt to the physical nature of English football. He would also face stiff competition for a weekly starting berth at United ahead of the likes of Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire.
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The Ajax man is also said to be aware that playing in the Champions League with Ajax would be preferable to a Europa League campaign with United in terms of boosting his World Cup hopes before the tournament gets underway in Qatar in November. It remains to be seen whether Ten Hag will be able to convince Timber to follow him to Old Trafford, with the defender having already insisted that he is in no hurry to leave Ajax in spite of United’s interest in his services.
“Of course I can develop further at Ajax. I am 100 per cent sure of that, I don’t feel like I’m done at the club,” Timber told reporters while on international duty with the Netherlands earlier this week.
“I can also develop at other clubs. I am now focusing on the upcoming international matches and then go on holiday, then I’ll have to think about it some more.
“In the end, my gut feeling will be the deciding factor. The picture has to be right. You can go to a big club, but if you’re not going to play there it’s better to stay with Ajax, and Ajax is also a big club.”
Timber has another two years left to run on his current Ajax deal and the Dutch heavyweights will reportedly demand a fee of around £43million from United in order to sanction a move to Old Trafford. He registered 43 appearances for the club over the course of this season, popping up with three goals from the centre of defence in the process.
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