Jurrien Timber has rejected a transfer to Manchester United after Louis van Gaal warned him about maintaining his World Cup hopes, a report has claimed.
New United boss Erik ten Hag is looking for help from his previous club Ajax to smoothen his transition. He tried and failed to bring Ryan Gravenberch to Manchester, the midfielder instead opting to sign for Bayern Munich.
Winger Antony is another target, but centre-back Timber has seemed the most long-term target for Ten Hag.
Ten Hag wants to bolster his Man Utd back line. And having brought Timber into the Ajax first team from the academy, he wants to extend the pair’s successful association.
However, reports have claimed that Timber has had doubts about the level of game time he would get at United.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Dutch journalist Marcel van der Kraan has now explained how former United boss Van Gaal – who is back managing the Netherlands – sewed that seed of doubt for Timber.
“The player was ready, I think, to come. His agent went over to London to Manchester United’s offices two weeks ago and they had very good talks,” Van der Kraan said.
“Money was never a problem, but then one man turned up – Louis van Gaal.
“He told the player in the Dutch camp, ‘Look, if you go there, I think your chances could be limited to play for Holland in the World Cup three months later’.
“For Jurrien Timber, a great Ajax player and a Ten Hag-style player, that was a bit of a blow – that Louis van Gaal made it clear that he would maybe not be in his Dutch team if he wasn’t playing every week for United.”
Jurrien Timber rejected Man Utd
Van der Kraan noted that Timber “would not be playing every week” at United. Captain Harry Maguire and four-time Champions League winner Raphael Varane are looking to prove themselves after tough seasons.
Van der Kraan added: “Timber said, ‘Look boss, I can’t come with you to United because my Holland place is more important’.
“Ajax have now jumped on the train and said, ‘Here’s a new contract. If you’re not going to United, we would break open your contract’.
“And since last night, his agents are in talks with them.”
Ajax star has bigger focus
Timber clearly considered moving to Man Utd. However, now is not the right time for the transfer given his recent rise.
He has made 74 Ajax appearances and is well in with Van Gaal in the Netherlands squad.
Indeed, Van Gaal has kept Timber in the team after the defender made his breakthrough before and during Euro 2020 under Frank de Boer.
Ruud Gullit warns Jurrien Timber about Manchester United
Ruud Gullit has warned Manchester United target Jurrien Timber about leaving Ajax for United this summer
Timber played two of the Netherlands’ four recent Nations League matches. He is certain to feature in Qatar if he can stay fit.
But Euro 2020 was the Netherlands’ first major tournament appearance since the World Cup in 2014.
As such, Qatar is their first World Cup chance in eight years and they are looking to bounce back in style. That means Van Gaal wants all of his squad in top shape and Timber needs regular football to ensure he makes the squad.