Jurrien Timber is believed to be one of Manchester United’s prime targets this summer, with Erik ten Hag thought to be keen to bring the defender with him to Old Trafford.
The 20-year-old enjoyed a breakthrough season under the new United manager last year and has also earned him a place in Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands side.
United’s interest in Timber has been widely covered but the latest twist has seen Ajax gain confidence over keeping him this summer, and Van Gaal has now warned the defender against making the move to the Premier League, arguing that a move could put his place in this year’s World Cup squad in jeopardy.
“I think a player with [Timber’s] qualities can play in the Premier League. That’s not a problem. But if he has to make this big step now – that’s the question,” he is quoted as saying by the Daily Star.
The former United boss was then quizzed on the potential scenario which would see him warm the bench at Old Trafford: “Then he’s not so wise I think. He has to play,” he added.
United’s defensive issues are no secret and despite his tender age, it’s fair to assume that Timber would be likely to immediately hold down a place in Ten Hag’s first-choice lineup.
Van Gaal has not held back in his criticism of United since he was sacked in 2016 so these warnings should not come as a surprise to anyone.
Timber is widely regarded as one of the most promising young talents in Europe and should he make the move to United this summer, it would be seen as a real coup for the Old Trafford club.