Erik ten Hag speaks out on Jurrien Timber and Antony amid Man Utd transfer links

Erik ten Hag has spoken glowingly about Ajax duo Jurrien Timber and Antony – who he has been linked with signing for Manchester United – and expects both players to be in-demand this summer.

The Dutch coach has decided to terminate his contract with the Eredivisie champions early and will not be involved with their post-season tour, instead opting to fly to Manchester this week to get a head start on his new job.

Ten Hag is already believed to have held extensive talks over transfer targets and has been heavily linked with an immediate reunion with Timber and Antony at Old Trafford.

Far from playing down the speculation surrounding their futures, Ten Hag has fuelled the noise even further and feels both players are destined to join a top club.

‘I think that all top clubs in Europe have Timber in their sights,’ Ten Hag told De Telegraaf.

‘But I think that currently applies to a lot of Ajax players.

‘If Antony were to go, it would be a loss for Ajax, because you have no-one in the current selection who can take over his position. He is top class.’

Versatile young defender Timber – who has played predominantly at centre-back but can also fill in at right-back – is very adept at playing out from the back, averaging over 75 passes per game with 91% accuracy.

Bayern Munich are thought to be very interested in signing the 20-year-old and are expected to raid Ajax several times this summer, having agreed personal terms with Noussair Mazraoui over a free transfer while they are also in talks to sign Ryan Gravenberch.

Antony, meanwhile, registered eight goals and four assists in 23 Eredivisie appearances and could be the solution to United’s troublesome right-wing issues, with Ten Hag having already identified the position as an area that needs strengthening.

Timber was asked about the speculation surrounding his future last month, telling Het Parool: ‘I’m good at Ajax. I can still learn a lot, especially if we continue to play in the Champions League.’

On Ten Hag, he added: ‘He deserved it [the United job]. Ten Hag has been very important to me personally. Under him I became the footballer, the man I am today. The coach talked to me a lot. He’s been very critical, in a good, constructive way. I won’t forget that anytime soon.’

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