Manchester United are looking to sign a central defender following the likely departure of Eric Bailly and Phil Jones this summer but also the underwhelming performances we have witnessed this season. According to football journalist Jonathan Shrager, Manchester United are believed to be leading the line to sign Ajax defender Jurrien Timber.
Manchester United Are Frontrunners to Sign Ajax Defender Jurrien Timber
Why Erik Ten Hag Wants Jurrien Timber
Manchester United’s incoming coach has pinpointed a centre-back as one of his main priorities in his highly anticipated overhaul of players. Ten Hag will want to recondition multiple areas within the squad he takes charge of in the summer but only so much can happen in his opening months under his watch.
During his tenure under Ten Hag, Jurrien Timber has become such a defining presence at the back at just 20 years of age. He has even been hailed as a ‘great leader’ by his now-former manager. He has five goal involvements in Ajax’s second-consecutive title-winning campaign and has shone in a star-studded side. He averages 90.8 touches per game, wins 67% of his duels, and makes an average of 2.4 tackles, 1.7 interceptions and 1.4 clearances per game.
Erik Ten Hag is particularly impressed with Timber’s versatility, as, during his time at the Johan Cruyff Arena, he has shown that right-back is also a role that he can fulfill when required. Although Diogo Dalot is reportedly in the new manager’s plan for the next campaign, Aaron Wan-Bissaka iis available for transfer. A rotation option for this position is likely to also be on Ten Hag’s large to-do list, but having Timber available in the case will be invaluable to the squad.
Jurrien Timber has had a 𝐩𝐡𝐞𝐧𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐬𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐨𝐧 at Ajax:
— Erik Ten Hag (@silencer202) May 19, 2022
Manchester United Have the Advantage
Ten Hag, to the delight of many Manchester United fans, terminated his contract with Ajax early to start the hard graft ahead of his arrival to the North West of England. He is a massive admirer of Timber but has insisted that “all the top clubs in Europe have Timber in their sights”.
Shrager has also reported that the Red Devils face competition in luring the exciting prospect to the red side of Manchester. The trustworthy journalist did mention, however, that a representative for Timber is currently in England to understand the plans of Manchester United.