Erik ten Hag reportedly keen on signing Ajax defender Jurrien Timber for Manchester United

Erik ten Hag is reportedly the favourite for the Manchester United job, The Times report. The Dutchman is even said to be eyeing a couple of transfer moves from his current club already.

The Mirror report winger Antony and defender Jurrien Timber are on Ten Hag’s wishlist. Interest in Antony has already been widely reported, with The Telegraph last week claiming he is a top target.

Reported interest in Timber is ‘new’, and he would not cost a blockbuster fee. Here is a look at what you need to know…

Photo by Peter Lous/BSR Agency/Getty Images

Who is Jurrien Timber?

1) Timber, 20, has established himself as a regular in Ajax’s defence. He only made his debut at 19 in 2020, and has been a key part of Erik ten Hag’s side ever since. He turns 21 in June.

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2) This season Timber has made 24 Eredivisie starts out of 28 games. He has also scored three goals.

3) Since making his Netherlands debut last June, Timber has frequently been involved. He has six appearances for his country to date and is expected to be in his country’s World Cup squad.

4) Timber leads Ajax in tackles per game this season with 2.3 per match, according to WhoScored. This is among the top 10 defenders in the Eredivisie.

5) Ajax have Timber under contract until 2024. He signed this deal in 2020.

6) He has a twin brother, Quintin Timber, who plays at club level for Eredivisie rivals Utrecht.

Where Timber fits in

United’s defence needs work, that has been quite obvious all season. Eric Bailly cannot be satisfied with his game time this season and can be expected to try and push for an exit.

While Timber would take his place in the squad, he can be a bit more ambitious and target a starting role.

His arrival would put Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane all under pressure, and his previous work with Ten Hag would give him an edge over his three more experienced teammates.

Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe are both expected to be sold too, while Teden Mengi will need to secure another loan to further his development.

Photo by Peter Lous/BSR Agency/Getty Images

What they say

Dutch pundit Kenneth Perez was quoted by Voetball Zone last month: “Timber is so damn good. Is he then the benchmark for Ajax? No, he is too good for Ajax.”

Former Netherlands international Ron Vlaar told De Telegraaf: “He has almost seventy matches in Ajax to his name and played in the Champions League. I like to see that such a young player comes across so confident.”

Voetball International wrote of his style: “He is also strong on the ball and his agility often allows him to steam through to midfield.”

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