Manchester United have started talks with Ajax over the summer transfer of defender Jurrien Timber, The Guardian reports.
The Red Devils are eyeing a new central defender this summer. It appears Timber is the prime target, having played the last two years at Ajax under manager Erik ten Hag.
In recent weeks, the Netherlands international has been frequently linked, and The Guardian report that United have now made contact with Ajax for the 20-year-old.
Ten Hag was key to Timber breaking through the Ajax youth setup in 2020, and he is a ‘firm admirer’ of him. Ajax currently value their graduate at around £43 million.
United conceded a staggering 57 goals in their Premier League campaign last term. The arrival of Raphael Varane last summer did not necessarily improve their defensive showing.
The Frenchman joined from Real Madrid with huge expectations, but struggled to adapt to the style of play. He was also hampered by multiple injuries that saw him in-and-out of the line-up.
Varane is still best central defender in the squad based on achievements and experience, and any new signing could potentially take the place of Harry Maguire or Victor Lindelof in the XI.
Timber has shown plenty of promise during the last two years at Ajax. He has been good with his defensive duties, and averaged over two tackles per game in all competitions last season.
The youngster has also been terrific with the ball at his feet. He completed 92 per cent of his passes. Among United centre-backs, Varane fared best with a 88 per cent success rate last season.
Timber should be a quality long-term signing for United, but the hierarchy will definitely want to lower the final transfer fee, having signed Donny van de Beek for around £35m in 2020.
Meanwhile, Varane should be fancied to come good next term as he will be involved for United from pre-season which was not the case last year when he started training in mid-August.