Ajax would be “gutted” if Manchester United can poach two of their top targets in addition to manager Erik ten Hag, according to a Dutch football expert.
Ten Hag looks to be the likeliest candidate to take the Manchester United manager’s job in the summer. He would be replacing Ralf Rangnick, whose spell as interim manager would subsequently conclude.
After building up a reputation at Ajax, it could be time for Ten Hag to test himself in the Premier League. At Old Trafford, he would be in line for one of the biggest jobs in the world.
Despite the stature of Manchester United, though, a lot of work needs to be done to their squad. They risk missing out on Champions League football for next season, which may reduce their appeal too.
But Ten Hag could already be making plans for potential signings. In that regard, reports recently surfaced tipping him to bring two Ajax players with him.
On the agenda are defender Jurrien Timber and attacker Antony. Neither has played in the Premier League before, but are the kind of young talents that could take the next step and keep developing under Ten Hag.
According to Dutch football expert Marcel van der Kraan, losing the pair may even be a bigger blow for Ajax than seeing their manager depart.
He told Sky Sports News: “Well I have to go back to those Ajax fans, who would be gutted to see Ten Hag leave.
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“But they would be even more gutted if he takes two of their best players. One is the defender Jurrien Timber, who has made his debut with the Dutch national team.
“He has been excellent, rapidly developing, quick-thinker, quick on the ball, like very many Ajax players coming from their own academy.
“Timber is a massive talent who he would like to take.
Antony alongside Timber on Ten Hag radar
“The other is an expensive one, Antony the Brazilian forward who is lining up with Neymar with the national team.
“He would cost between £70million-£90m but I don’t know whether he is the kind of player – under Ten Hag – Manchester United will still go for.
“They’re young players, who he can still forward change.”
United may have to spend big to free up the two targets. It would provide some financial relief to Ajax – but more sporting frustration – if they are to land their coach too. But they seem to be the kind of signings Ten Hag could build a new project around in Manchester.
Timber is under contract in Amsterdam until 2024 and Antony is until 2025.