Manchester United are likely to make multiple signings during the summer transfer window but it is uncertain whether manager Erik ten Hag will be backed with a significant budget.
With the Glazers still at the helm, Ten Hag may have to depend on player sales for summer signings and there is also the possibility of negotiating part-exchange deals for key targets.
Donny van de Beek could be one of the players heading for the exit door. The Dutch international has returned to light training after his knee surgery and could be fit by pre-season.
He could be used as a makeweight to sign Jurrien Timber from Ajax.
Timber was a top target for Ten Hag after his appointment last year, but the 21-year-old was reluctant to leave the Dutch champions amid fears of losing his World Cup spot with the Netherlands.
He has recently confirmed that he will be leaving Ajax this summer, and we won’t be surprised if United are one of the front-runners to sign him due to Ten Hag’s close association.
Ten Hag was responsible for Timber’s breakthrough from the Ajax youth ranks, and the prospect of reuniting with his former head coach could be hard to turn down for him.
Ajax currently value their defender at €50 million, and United could propose to lower the price tag by around 50 per cent by offering them the opportunity to re-sign Van de Beek.
Van de Beek was a massive hit at Ajax with 41 goals and 34 assists from 175 outings, but he has failed to impress at United. He has just two goals and two assists from 60 appearances.
At 26, Van de Beek is still in the prime of his career and Ajax could be persuaded by United’s proposal.
With United looking to sign Adrien Rabiot on a free transfer, the midfield competition will likely increase. It appears highly unlikely that Van de Beek will become a regular starter.
A swap deal with Ajax makes sense. Timber would be a shrewd signing for the Red Devils. He can play as a central defender and operate from the right-back position.
Timber had an impressive partnership with Lisandro Martinez at Ajax. We could see the duo reunited at the heart of the defence in the long run, considering Raphael Varane’s injury record.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
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