Eager to bring in several new faces before the players return to pre-season, new manager Erik ten Hag has been linked with some of his old Ajax charges, who are well attuned to his playing style and philosophy.
Centre-back Timber, who was named Ajax Talent of the Year in his most recent title-winning campaign, has quickly emerged as the player Ten Hag would most like to be reunited with.
Now The Times reports that United have officially started talks with Ajax over a deal for Timber, although the Dutch champions are extremely reluctant to sell.
Despite Timber having just two years left on his contract, Ajax want up to £43m for the academy graduate – a fee that would make him the third-most expensive exit of all time.
Ajax have only sold two players for more money: Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt who joined Barcelona and Juventus respectively.
They also intend to try and convince Timber to stay at the club by offering him a new contract, although it is believed he is keen on a Ten Hag reunion.
It was the new United boss who made Timber his debut in 2020 and the Netherlands international has spoken enthusiastically about his compatriot, saying he is “very important to me personally – it was under him that I became the footballer and the man that I am today am”.
Although Ten Hag’s priority is to improve his midfield and attack – he wants a new striker and two new central midfielders – he also feels United’s leaky defense is an area that also needs strengthening.
Timber’s Ajax team-mate Lisandro Martinez – who was named the club’s player of the season – is also of interest, as is Villarreal’s Pau Torres.
The Spaniard’s contract is believed to include a release clause worth around £55million, slightly more than the fee Ajax are asking for Timber, while convincing Torres to leave Spain will be very difficult.
MORE : The Ajax star’s agent has been ‘sighted’ at Manchester United’s London offices as Erik ten Hag plans a reunion
For more stories like this, visit our sports page.
Follow Metro Sport for the latest news
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
https://metro.co.uk/2022/05/31/ajax-set-big-asking-price-for-man-utd-to-sign-erik-ten-hags-top-target-16740079/ Ajax have set a hefty price tag for Man Utd to sign Erik ten Hag's top target | Soccer