Manchester United will reportedly have to battle with Bayern Munich in their pursuit of Ajax defender Jurrien Timber in the upcoming summer.

According to Calciomercato, AFC Ajax and Netherlands defender Jurrien Timber is set to be a man in demand in the summer transfer window, with Manchester United and Bayern Munich vying to sign him.

Timber started at the academy of Feyenoord before making the switch to Ajax’s youth setup in 2014. The 20-year-old centre-half rose rapidly through the ranks at the Dutch club and made his senior debut in March 2020, at the age of 18. Since then, he has been more or less regular in the lineup for the club, racking up 69 senior appearances.

Timber made his breakthrough with the Dutch national team last year and was part of the squad at the UEFA Euro 2020. He has six caps for the Oranje so far. He might not be the most physically imposing centre-backs around. But the 20-year-old makes up for it with his game-reading and technical abilities. A versatile operator, he can play at right-back as well.

Timber’s qualities and potential have seemingly landed him on the radars of two of the biggest clubs in Europe in the form of Manchester United and Bayern Munich. 

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The links with Manchester United are not surprising, considering that the Red Devils are set to appoint current Ajax boss Erik ten Hag as their next permanent manager. And the Dutch tactician, who handed Timber his debut at Ajax, is believed to be keen on taking him along to Old Trafford in the summer.

A move for the 20-year-old would make sense for Manchester United, considering how woeful Harry Maguire has been this season. In addition, both Eric Bailly and Phil Jones could be on their way out before next season, making it vital for Manchester United to strengthen their defensive ranks.

However, the 20-time English champions will have to contend with competition from Bayern Munich in the race for Timber. The Bavarian giants will lose Niklas Sule at the end of the season. The German defender has agreed to join Borussia Dortmund on a Bosman deal. It would leave a gaping hole in the defence for Die Roten.

With Dayot Upamecano not enjoying the best of debut seasons at the Allianz Arean, it would bode well for the German Rekordmeister to add another defender to their ranks, making Timber a viable option. The 20-year-old has four years left on his contract with Ajax. It remains to be seen how much the Eredivisie champions demand for his services come summer.

At the same time, it will also be interesting to see what Timber decides. He could continue to flourish under ten Hag’s tutelage at Manchester United. But, on the other hand, Bayern Munich would offer him Champions League football and a chance to win trophies regularly, something that cannot be guaranteed at Old Trafford at this moment.

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