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Jurrien Timber wants playing time guarantees at Man Utd ahead of World Cup

Manchester United’s chances of signing Ajax defender Jurrien Timber could be dependent on assuring him regular playing time ahead of the World Cup, The Mirror reports.

The Red Devils recently opened talks with Ajax for the Dutchman. He has been earmarked as Erik ten Hag’s top target, having impressed under him over the past two years.

The club have yet to make progress over a transfer, but The Mirror claim that a deal is in the balance with the centre-back having doubts over a summer switch to Old Trafford.

While Timber could prefer a reunion with Ten Hag, he apparently has fears of missing out on the World Cup, suppose he fails to establish himself as a starter with United.

He may want assurances of regular first-team football to make the move this summer. Otherwise, it is suggested that a mid-season transfer could be a possibility.

Our view:

Timber has been hugely impressive for Ajax over the past two years. In the recent campaign, he averaged 2.1 tackles and 1.5 interceptions per game while completing 91 per cent of his passes.

With such statistics, he should be fancied to excel at United. However, he may need some time to adapt to the demands of the Premier League, considering he is not the tallest of defenders at 179cm.

Donny van de Beek’s experience at United may have raised doubts for Timber. The midfielder was once a mainstay in the Dutch squad, but he is no longer in contention under manager Louis van Gaal.

Despite this, Ten Hag will be hoping to convince the Ajax graduate while guaranteeing him regular minutes. He is generally a central defender, but has also impressed as a right-back for club and country.

His versatility could boost his prospects of becoming a regular starter under Ten Hag, and thereby ensuring that he is part of the Netherlands squad for the World Cup in Qatar this winter.

Ajax value Timber at around £42.5 million, but United will be hoping to negotiate a lesser fee up front. There could be performance-based bonuses added to bring down the overall price.

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