Louis van Gaal warns Man Utd target Jurrien Timber to avoid Old Trafford move

Holland boss Louis van Gaal has urged Ajax defender Jurrien Timber to reject Manchester United amid reports linking the 20-year-old with a £43 million move to Old Trafford this summer.

United boss Erik ten Hag handed Timber his professional debut in 2020 and is keen to pinch him from his former club, but Van Gaal says he's concerned the player won't get much game-time in Manchester and hinted that it would be a bad idea with the World Cup just around the corner.

"I think a player with [Timber's] qualities can play in the Premier League. That’s not a problem. But if he has to make this big step now – that’s the question," said Van Gaal.

After being asked what would happen if Timber joined United only to sit on the bench, the 70-year-old replied: "Then he’s not so wise I think. He has to play."

Van Gaal, who spent two mixed seasons at Old Trafford between 2014 and 2016, revealed he was receiving treatment for prostate cancer back in April – a fact that he'd been keeping secret from his players.

Timber made his international debut shortly before Euro 2020 last year, and while he only got on the field once at the tournament, he's featured in over half of the Netherland's fixtures since.

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He's also been a near ever-present in Ajax's side this season, playing a major role in helping the club land its third-successive Eredivisie title.

United are expected to do plenty of shopping this summer as Ten Hag sets about moulding his new squad in his image and a central defender appears to be high on their priority list, particularly with reports linking the club with Juventus' Matthijs de Ligt – who also worked under Ten Hag at Ajax.

However, after failing to qualify for the Champions League the Red Devils will struggle to attract the crème de la crème of European football, making moves for burgeoning players like Timber that much more appealing.

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