Man Utd push ahead on first summer transfer deal as Ajax star set to follow Erik ten Hag
Manchester United are pushing ahead with a move for Ajax’s £35million-rated defender Jurrien Timber.
New United boss Erik ten Hag wants to bring Timber with him and the two clubs are understood to be in talks over a deal for the central defender. Timber, 20, was instrumental in helping ten Hag secure his third Dutch title with Ajax and the Old Trafford-bound boss is keen to continue their working relationship in Manchester.
United have targeted a striker, a creative and holding midfielder, as well as a centre-back this summer, while they are also looking at both full-back roles if the right players become available.
Timber, who excelled under ten Hag at Ajax, making 43 appearances in their title-winning campaign, could be the first signing of the Dutchman’s United reign.
Asked about taking some of Ajax’s players with him to United, in particular Timber and forward Antony, ten Hag said: «I think all the top clubs in Europe have Timber in their sights. But I think that applies to a lot of Ajax players at the moment.
“If Antony were to go, it would be a loss for Ajax, because you have no one in the current selection who can take over his position.”
Elsewhere, Ten Hag has strangely been told to target Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech by Ajax legend Marco van Basten.
Ziyech worked with Ten Hag in Amsterdam before his move to the Premier League, and while he has won trophies at Chelsea, the Moroccan international has struggled to nail down a first-team place. He has made just 12 league starts this term.
However, speaking on Dutch TV on Monday night on Ziggo Sport’s show ‘Rondo’ – which featured Ten Hag as its guest – Van Basten suggested that Ziyech could again thrive under the new United manager if he moved to Old Trafford.
“What comes to my mind now is that I think Ziyech who already plays in England could be a very good footballer at Manchester United for Erik,” Van Basten said.
Ten Hag refused to respond specifically to Van Basten’s suggestion and insisted that he is already used to dealing with transfer speculation
“Of course this was already the case at Ajax,” said Ten Hag. “You take that in and then you have to continue to work well with the dressing room and with people within the club. You have to analyse well and make the right choices.”
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