Man United switch 'is not so wise' for Jurrien Timber, warns Van Gaal

Louis van Gaal warns in-demand centre back Jurrien Timber that it ‘is not so wise’ to consider a summer move to Man United… just two months on from the Holland boss trying to put Erik ten Hag off taking over the ‘commercial club’

  • Dutch centre back Jurrien Timber is attracting lots of interest this summer
  • Holland boss Louis van Gaal has warned the 20-year-old about lack of minutes
  • Timber is a reported target for new Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag
  • Van Gaal is worried Timber would play regularly in a move that ‘is not so wise’ 
  • Click here for all the latest World Cup 2022 news and updates

Louis van Gaal has fired a warning to 20-year-old centre back Jurrien Timber by claiming a summer switch to Manchester United ‘is not so wise’ in a World Cup year. 

Van Gaal has not minced his words since being axed as United’s manager back in 2016, ending with an FA Cup win.  

Now the 70-year-old is in charge of the Dutch national team and when quizzed on potential interest from Old Trafford in highly rated Ajax defender Timber, he was quick to point out the perils of the switch. 

 Jurrien Timber, 20, is a man in demand this summer, with Man United reported to be keen

Holland boss Louis van Gaal has warned Timber over a switch to Old Trafford, however

‘I think a player of his quality can play in the Premier League. That is not a problem,’ Van Gaal said.

‘If he has to make this big step now, that’s the question.

‘It is not so wise I think [to move to United]. He has to play.’ 

New United boss Erik ten Hag knows Timber well having helped nurture him and bring him through in Amsterdam.

Defence is a key area of concern for Ten Hag and his staff given United endured their worst Premier League season on record in 2021-22, conceding 57 goals as they finished sixth.

His defending helped Erik ten Hag win consecutive Eredivisie titles in 2020-21 and 2021-22 

Timber is an expected starter each week at Ajax and in a World Cup year where playing regularly is vital to being selected, Van Gaal was not keen to rush to the aid of his old side and sweet-talk Timber into a switch.

With competition from Virgil van Dijk, Matthijs de Ligt, Nathan Ake and Stefan de Vrij, Timber has no guarantees that he will make Van Gaal’s final squad for the World Cup in Qatar.

Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane have been United’s first-choice centre back pairing, with Victor Lindelof stepping in to cover injuries.

Eric Bailly and Phil Jones face incredibly uncertain futures as Ten Hag plots a shake-up at Old Trafford, with free agents Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic already out the exit door. 

Van Gaal had tried to warn Ten Hag off from even taking on the sizeable job at Old Trafford, urging his fellow Dutchman to avoid the ‘commercial club’. 

 Timber is not a guarantee in the national team and Van Gaal stressed the need to play often

Speaking in March, the often outspoken Van Gaal said: ‘Erik ten Hag is a great manager and that’s good for Manchester United, but Manchester United are a commercial club.

‘I’m not going to advise him but he should choose a football club, not a commercial one.’ 

With Ten Hag having since taken the job, Van Gaal was quizzed once more on his remarks, as he prepares for a Nations League match-up with Wales on Wednesday.

‘I’ve spoken to him [Ten Hag] but there is now a new leadership,’ he continued.

‘[Before] it was [Ed] Woodward, now it’s Richard Arnold. That can make a difference. Erik has lot of confidence. Who am I to say something about that?’

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