Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal has issued a transfer warning to Ajax defender Jurrien Timber amidst links to Manchester United.

Former Manchester United manager and current Netherlands head coach Louis van Gaal has claimed that the time might not be right for Jurrien Timber to join the Red Devils in the upcoming transfer window.

A product of the AFC Ajax youth academy, Timber has grown into a mainstay at the heart of the defence for the Dutch champions. The young defender, who can play at centre-back and right-back, has also become a regular for the Netherlands national team in recent times. 

The 20-year-old, who made 43 appearances for Ajax in the 2021/22 campaign, has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United this summer. The arrival of Erik ten Hag as the Red Devils’ manager has fueled speculations after the 52-year-old handed Timber his debut at Ajax.

A move has been in the works for some time now and the player appears to be keen on moving to Manchester United and reuniting with ten Hag this summer. However, Louis van Gaal, who managed Manchester United for two years between 2014 and 2016, has stated that he is unsure if it is the right time for the youngster to make such a “big step”.

As quoted by GOAL, van Gaal told a press conference on Wednesday: “I think a player of his quality can play in the Premier League. That is not a problem. If he has to make this big step now, that’s the question. (If he does not play) then he is not so wise, I think. He has to play.”

Manchester United have a plethora of defenders at their disposal in Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Raphael Varane, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe, who will be returning from a disappointing loan stint at Napoli. However, Jones, Bailly and Tuanzebe are all expected to be on their way out this summer.

But it would still leave Timber to compete with the likes of Varane, Lindelof and Maguire for a starting berth. And van Gaal is right in questioning whether the youngster would be able to get regular playing time if he were to move to Old Trafford.

However, considering how poor the Manchester United defence fared last season, it would not come as a surprise to see ten Hag install the 20-year-old Dutchman as a starter should he join the club.

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