Louis van Gaal feels Ajax defender Jurrien Timber is good enough to play in the Premier League but has questioned the timing of a move to Manchester United.
Timber, 19, caught the eye playing under new Red Devils chief Erik ten Hag at Ajax. The centre-back made 43 appearances in all competitions last term, and has enjoyed 74 outings in total for the Amsterdam giants. With United in the market for defensive reinforcements, the talented youngster has been linked.
Ajax do not want to lose the Netherlands international and are said to value him at around the £43m mark. But it was recently reportedly that United chiefs had opened talks with Ajax about a summer switch to Old Trafford.
Timber is highly-rated in the Dutch game, with former Ajax player Marciano Vink signing his praises to ESPN. Van Gaal has seen his talent up close and personal with Oranje.
The veteran tactical is a big fan and feels the stopper will go far. However, he is unsure whether a switch to the Theatre of Dreams is exactly what he needs at this stage of his career.
“I think a player with his qualities can play in the Premier League,” he told reporters. “That’s not a problem. But if he has to make this step now… that’s another question. It is not so wise I think [to join United]. He has to play.”
Van Gaal was alluding to the fact that Timber might not be a first-team regular at Manchester United. And he will need game time to ensure he is part of the Netherlands World Cup squad.
But Ten Hag knows all about the Utrecht-born starlet and may see him as a player who could make an immediate impact.
Timber future up in the air
There is no questioning Timber’s talent and the fact he should enjoy a stunning career fitness permitting. But rumours continue to circulate that he is having second thoughts about joining the north-west outfit.
He has already earned seven caps for his nation and is with Van Gaal’s side for their current Nations League games.
Manchester United in talks with Jurrien Timber from Ajax
Manchester United are in talks to sign Jurrien Timber from Ajax and make him the first signing of the Erik Ten Hag era
It is not known whether the Holland boss has spoken personally to the youngster about his future domestically.
But it is clear that the ex-United manager believes his career might stagnate and he would be better served at the Johan Cruyff Arena.