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The Ajax defender has been linked with a move to Old Trafford
The Ajax defender has been linked with a move to Old Trafford (Pictures: Getty)

Ajax defender Jurrien Timber has played down rumours he could follow Erik ten Hag to Manchester United but says he is the ‘footballer and the man’ he is today because of the Dutch boss.

The 20-year-old has made 70 appearances for Ajax since Ten Hag gave him his senior debut in 2020.

Timber has been a mainstay in the side this season, starting 26 of Ajax’s 30 Eredivisie games and helping them move seven points clear at the top of the table.

Before Ten Hag was unveiled as Manchester United’s next manager on Thursday, it was suggested that the 52-year-old could look to make Timber one of his first Old Trafford signings, having been impressed by his development in Holland.

A number of Ajax players are being linked with moves to United, who have endured another sorry season and lost 3-1 to Arsenal on Saturday as their hopes of finishing in the top four suffered another blow.

Responding to the rumours, Netherlands international Timber told Het Parool: ‘I’m good at Ajax. I can still learn a lot, especially if we continue to play in the Champions League.’

On Ten Hag, the talented defender added: ‘He deserved it [the United job]. Ten Hag has been very important to me personally.

Man Utd-linked Jurrien Timber in action for Ajax
Man Utd-linked Jurrien Timber in action for Ajax (Picture: Getty)

‘Under him I became the footballer, the man I am today. The coach talked to me a lot. He’s been very critical, in a good, constructive way. I won’t forget that anytime soon.’

Ten Hag will look to bolster his Manchester United squad this summer following an alarming dip in standards at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils have been unable to add to their vast trophy collection since 2017, while they look set to miss out on Champions League football following Saturday’s defeat at Arsenal.

Asked what Ten Hag will make of the club’s poor form after Arsenal clinched a 3-1 win at the Emirates, interim boss Ralf Rangnick said: ‘There is a lot of work for sure. We knew that before the game.

‘We showed what football we can play. Although we had to deal with the two early goals, there is nothing about the attitude of the players we should fault today.’

On United’s top-four chances, a deflated Rangnick added: ‘I’m pretty sure [they are over]. For me, even before the game it was not very likely, but after today’s result it is gone, yes.’

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Source: Metro Sport

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