Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has rubbished suggestions that he directly told Jurrien Timber to stay at Ajax and refuse any offers from the Old Trafford club.
Manchester United were linked with a move for Jurrien Timber early in the transfer window, but a deal never materialised and Erik ten Hag decided to target Lisandro Martinez instead. The Argentine has been a perfect fit in United’s defence since arriving and I doubt we would have been as happy with Timber.
Timber, 20, is very much a player for the future. It is likely that he would have played at right-back instead of centre-back at United and we could see Ten Hag revisit that idea in future transfer windows.
With his foreseeable future at Ajax, Timber is working hard to make the Netherlands squad for the upcoming World Cup, and he must impress Van Gaal to achieve that.
Van Gaal previously suggested that Timber would struggle for minutes if he joined United.
However, the Netherlands boss has now confirmed that his previous comments were nothing other than advice.
“I want to set one thing straight: I have indeed called players, but I have always ended the conversation with: this is advice,” Van Gaal said, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News. “You have to stay close to yourself and make the choice yourself.”
Whatever Van Gaal says or thinks, he knows his advice could easily influence any young player in the Dutch squad.
I’m just happy that Martinez was the Ajax defender we ended up signing in the summer. He’s the real deal.