Ajax are reportedly growing increasingly confident they can keep Jurrien Timber from out of the clutches of Manchester United, with the defender having one particular doubt about the proposed transfer.
New Old Trafford chief Erik ten Hag has identified strengthening his backline as a major job, although he is also in the market for two new midfielders and a striker.
Centre-back Timber is very much in the thoughts of Ten Hag, having worked closely with the player in Holland.
However, the Dutch champions are desperate to keep hold of the 20-year-old. To that end, they’ve slapped a £43million price tag on his head to deter any suitors.
That sort of figure is unlikely to put United off though as they look to fill Ten Hag’s needs.
But the biggest problem now, according to De Telegraaf, is convincing Timber he will play regularly.
The report states that is the player’s top concern over heading to Manchester, especially with it being a World Cup year.
With that in mind, Timber is thought to be leaning towards remaining in the Netherlands.
Indeed, in an interview earlier this week, Timber hinted at the possibility of snubbing United, saying: “Of course I can develop further at Ajax – I am 100 percent sure of that.
“I don’t feel like I’m done at the club. But I can also develop at other clubs.
“I am now focusing on the upcoming international matches and then go on holiday. Then I’ll have to think about it some more. In the end, my gut feeling will be the deciding factor.
“The picture has to be right. You can go to a big club. But if you’re not going to play there, it’s better to stay with Ajax. And Ajax is also a big club.”
Ten Hag may have to switch targets
While that news will come as a blow to Ten Hag, it is just likely to lead to a switch in targets.
United currently have Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof as their top three centre-backs.
However, there have been rumours that Ten Hag could offload Maguire after his poor 2021-22 campaign.
But whatever happens, for now it looks like Timber will not be landing at Old Trafford.