Manchester United have been in pursuit of defensive reinforcements in the transfer market this month. The Red Devils have expressed interest in AFC Ajax defender Jurrien Timber and have been negotiating with the Dutch club to secure his signature.
The Red Devils have appointed former Ajax manager Erik ten Hag to lead their transition and are in dire need of a squad revamp. Ten Hag has worked with Timber in the Eredivisie and has attempted to leverage his ties with the player to facilitate a signing for Manchester United.
According to recent reports, however, the talented defender will likely reject a move to the Premier League. Ajax's current manager Alfred Schreuder has showered praise on the defender and expressed his confidence in Timber's dedication to the Dutch champions. He said:
"I have spoken with Jurrien [Timber] and I am assuming he is staying at Ajax. Timber is a smart guy and he knows what is best for himself. We think he is not done at Ajax yet."
Manchester United's plans for Jurrien Timber impacted by Louis van Gaal's warning
Manchester United have been the frontrunners to secure Timber's signature this month. Ten Hag has also been working behind the scenes to bring the likes of Frenkie de Jong and Christian Eriksen to the club.
The Red Devils are financially well-placed to afford Timber's signature but will need to assess their plans after recent developments. According to reports in the Dutch media, Timber will likely stay at Ajax this season to remain in Louis van Gaal's plans ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar this year.
Van Gaal has reportedly made it clear to Timber that his place in the squad will not remain a guarantee if he does not become a starter in the Premier League. Timber is a first-choice centre-back at Ajax and could stay at the club to remain in the Netherlands' World Cup plans.
With Ajax manager Alfred Schreuder also giving Timber his vote of confidence, time is running out for Manchester United to complete their transfer objectives. Ten Hag has maintained an excellent relationship with his former players but will need to go the extra mile to secure their signatures.
The Red Devils have missed out on a place in the UEFA Champions League this year and this particular failure has crippled their clout in the transfer market. With their Premier League rivals growing in stature, United will need to pull off a few heists in the transfer market to remain competitive under Ten Hag.