Jurrien Timber, Eredivisie awards August 2022

Jurrien Timber reveals 2023 transfer plan in motion, as Man Utd truths over failed deal emerge

Manchester United summer target Jurrien Timber has revealed he has held initial conversations about securing a 2023 move away from Ajax.

Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag spent a great deal of the recent transfer window trying to take Ajax’s best talents away. The Eredivisie club, who he left for United in May, were his first big team in management.

And Ten Hag therefore swooped for centre-back Lisandro Martinez and Brazilian winger Antony to help his Old Trafford tenure get off the ground.

Martinez has impressed at the back following his move, which could rise to £57million. Antony, who cost £84million, is also hoping to impress straight away.

However, Ten Hag went after Martinez’s former team-mate and fellow defender Timber before signing the Argentina. Netherlands international Timber, though, decided to stay at Ajax.

Nevertheless, speaking to Algemeen Dagblad about his future plans, Timber revealed that he wants to move away in 2023.

“Deciding whether to stay or go was the most difficult choice in my career,” the defender said.

“I have only been playing in the first team for a year and a half. Having to make such a choice at 21 is not easy. Money did not play a role for a second.

“Whether agreements have been made to make a transfer next year? That’s the intention, yes, but you never know how it will go. But that has been discussed well together with Ajax.”

Jurrien Timber reveals Man Utd truths

Timber added that he didn’t have the “feeling” that he was “ready” for a move away this summer. He added that he believes he is “in the right place” for now and can “learn a lot” this season.

“I have plans to come here to grow further,” Timber said in his interview. “The Champions League was not necessarily a factor. It was more about my feeling.”

There were also reports that Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal – a former Man Utd manager – warned Timber against the move to Old Trafford.

However, Timber said such stories – among “many things” that emerged this summer – were “not right”.

“He did not say: stay with Ajax, because if you don’t make enough minutes, there is less chance that you will play at the World Cup,” Timber said of Van Gaal’s influence.

“He said correctly, and I feel it myself, that if I make a choice, he knew I was going to make minutes there [United] too.

“You never know for sure, but that confidence I have too. You base your choice on that. The national team coach expresses his confidence in me. He does not say at all: beware of this or that club. You are talking about football, about clubs. He gives his opinion. I take someone who has been around for so long and knows so many clubs very seriously.”

United happy with Martinez influence

We will never know how Timber would have fared at United this season, but Martinez has nevertheless impressed.

Indeed, the Argentine and Raphael Varane have kept two clean sheets in a row in the Premier League.

Ten Hag insisted in a recent press conference that he wanted Martinez because of “his toughness, his positioning” and “his anticipating”.

Timber, though, was right to stay at Ajax to develop further and 2023 looks like the right time to move on.

There was no chance of him leaving this summer – not after seeing how Ajax’s transfer window turned out anyway. Antony, Martinez, Ryan Gravenberch and Noussair Mazraoui were among the senior first-teamers to leave.

Timber has signed a new contract this summer, but that may not stop him leaving. Instead, it may be a move from Ajax to protect its value.

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