Manchester United are busy planning ahead for next season while waiting for this one to end. One of the positives to hang onto right now is the hope of a new manager and new signings who will arrive to lead a new look Red Devils next season.

Erik ten Hag is the favourite to land the manager job, and The Mirror report he is keen on bringing Ajax defender Jurrien Timber to Old Trafford with him.

Ajax v Benfica - Round Of Sixteen, Second Leg - UEFA Champions League
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Timber, 20, is already a Netherlands international and is a regular for Ten Hag’s Eredivisie leading Ajax side.

The centre-back would be an astute addition for United, and comments from Dutch legend Marco van Basten speak to his quality.

Van a fan

Legendary Dutch striker Marco van Basten spoke of his admiration for Timber earlier this season. He was quoted by Livefootballontv.net in September after Ajax’s 5-1 Champions League group stage victory over Sporting.

Van Basten said: “You know who I really liked? Timber. He had balls that you normally don’t see with a defender, but I also thought he was good in defensive terms”

“He is reliable in the defensive part, but he is also so comfortable on the ball. Look, as a midfielder or attacker you just want that ball quickly. And he really goes straight forward. He conquers the ball and immediately gives deep passes and that is why things are moving in the right direction so quickly.”

The former striker added: “He takes a lot of initiative and immediately looks ahead to play a midfielder or striker.”

Beckenbauer traits

2022-04-02 FC Groningen v Ajax - Dutch Eredivisie
Photo by Peter Lous/BSR Agency/Getty Images

As part of the same discussion, it was suggested to Van Basten that Timber can occasionally look casual with the style he plays, a concern the former striker knocked back.

Van Basten was quoted by FCUpdate: “Beckenbauer had that too. The line between self-confidence and nonchalance is very thin. One person explains it as arrogance, while the other explains it as class.”

The age of the players in United’s backline suggest the club’s next defensive signing should be a player in Timber’s age range and potential.

Harry Maguire is 29, Raphael Varane 28, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly both 27. Adding in Timber, 20, would freshen up United’s defensive options.

The first step is hiring Erik ten Hag, who last week described United as a ‘great club’. Once he is in, attention will turn to who he may look to bring with him.

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