Ten Hag 'stunned' by Timber's decision to snub Man Utd for Arsenal

 Erik ten Hag wanted to bring Jurrien Timber to Manchester United in last year's summer transfer window but the move fell through and the Ajax defender is set to join Arsenal

Ten Hag 'stunned' by Ajax star's decision to snub Utd for rivals

Arsenal are set to sign Dutch international Jurrien Timber from Ajax in a deal worth £38.5million, after Erik ten Hag's failed attempt to bring the player to Manchester United.

The 21-year-old had been a key target for the Red Devils boss - who worked with him at Ajax - last summer, but the defender opted to remain in Amsterdam for another year. Timber was also linked with Liverpool when it was rumoured his girlfriend was “house hunting” in Merseyside.

Liverpool are in the middle of making sweeping changes to their squad this summer after a poor season in which they missed out on Champions League qualification.

The Dutchman is a centre-back who can also play on the right-hand side of the defence and would have added competition for Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate at Anfield, reports the Mirror.

United, meanwhile, already have a dearth of options in the middle of the backline with Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez, Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw all deployed there by Ten Hag. Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones have already left the club this summer, with captain Harry Maguire and Eric Bailly likely to follow.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is building his defence around the highly-rated France international William Saliba, with Gabriel often partnering him last season while Ben White played at right-back.

Former Ajax and Netherlands star Urby Emanuelson recently urged Timber to join Arsenal, because of their strong track record with young players.

"If you see how they deal with [Gabriel] Martinelli, [Martin] Odegaard, [Bukayo] Saka...they are all guys who are allowed to make mistakes and are made important at the same time," said Emanuelson.
"He has the potential to become the absolute top. That’s why Arsenal would be a good step. Arsenal is growing, they will build on that."

Timber had been expected to move on this summer after insisting a year ago that he wished to spend the 2022/23 season developing at Ajax. It was no secret that Ten Hag admired the Dutch international, but his push to sign Timber didn't go smoothly with the Mirror confirming the United manager was left 'stunned' when the defender turned down the chance to move to Old Trafford.

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