Ten Hag stunned Timber does not want to join him at United

Frenkie de Jong is wanted by Erik ten Hag as a major statement of intent to kickstart his Manchester United reign, after being stunned that Jurrien Timber does not want to come with him.

The Mirror report that the Dutchman is already worried about the way that his first summer in the United dugout is playing out and he has been surprised that Timber does not want to join him at Old Trafford.

Ten Hag wants the former Ajax midfielder to build around in his first United season and is prepared to have the club’s board pay a premium for him.

That is because he also wants Christian Eriksen to add to his midfield, and ten Hag thinks he is getting two world class midfielders for the price of one.

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Ten Hag stunned Timber does not want to come

United are trying to keep their nerve and get the price driven down because of Barcelona’s financial situation.

But it seems that ten Hag would rather the club got the deal over the line, even if it means paying a higher price, having missed out on Timber, who he thought would join him at United.

It would be helpful for the new boss to know who the main man in his midfield is going to be as early as possible, so he can kickstart his plans for the season.

The report says he has alternative targets in a number of positions, but it is clear that de Jong is the man he really wants.

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Perhaps more worrying is that ten Hag has not even taken charge of a game yet and familiar issues which have plagued other United managers are already starting to bug him.

United have lured ten Hag and Donny van de Beek from Ajax, but Timber – who has been branded ‘fantastic’ by Frank de Boer – has not been convinced to come, maybe because of the way the club has been run and the underperformance last season.

It has been reported that ten Hag is not happy with the speed of United’s transfer operations, and there is also seemingly little going on away from de Jong.

Ten Hag can only do so much and if other, wider issues persist then there is a limit to how well his maiden campaign can go.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.