Manchester United transfer target Jurrien Timber is leaning towards staying with current club Ajax this summer, 90min understands.
Timber has been identified by new United boss Erik ten Hag - who moved from the Dutch champions to United last month - as an early market ambition as he attempts to ready the squad for the new Premier League season, which kicks off against Brighton on August 7.
United's primary transfer target as it stands is Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong - with United still attempting to strike a deal with Barcelona, as was the case earlier this week - though the club are also hoping to strengthen in a number of other areas.
Timber has been identified alongside Villarreal's Pau Torres as an option to bolster the defence, owed to Ten Hag's existing relationship with the 21-year-old and knowledge of his qualities. Ten Hag has overseen Timber's transition from the Ajax youth system to the first team in recent seasons, while his ability to play across multiple defensive positions is of great benefit.
Ten Hag also recently cited Timber's ability to become a future captain as another reason why he rates the player so highly.
90min understands the pair have spoken about potentially reuniting in Manchester, and while Timber would be keen to play under his now former manager again there are certain guarantees which the player is looking for which haven't yet been met.
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Timber is wary of his position in the Dutch national team set up ahead of the World Cup, which begins in November, and in Donny van de Beek he already has an example of how a move to Old Trafford can potentially cost a player a place in the Dutch international set up. The Netherlands team are coached by former United manager Louis van Gaal.
Ten Hag is understood to not yet be completely committed to a system he will utilise with the new players at his disposal, and is also unsure of the make up of the United defence as it stands. The club already have captain Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof as options at centre back, along with a number of other options who are up for sale.
Ten Hag has also yet to run the rule over his existing squad on the training pitch, with pre-season set to commence on June 27.
While the full-back positions are also considered in need of an upgrade, United have not yet found a guaranteed role for Timber to slot into immediately. With time on the bench set to potentially cost the player his place in the Dutch World Cup lineup, it may be the case that the player feels safest committing to Ajax for another year.
A deal for Timber is effectively agreed between United and Ajax, though at present Timber is leaning towards staying in the Eredivisie - with a new contract also on the table from Ajax if he does stay.
No final, definitive decision is understood to have been made yet, though it should become clear in the coming weeks.