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Manchester United 'in talks with Ajax over three players'

Manchester United 'in talks with Ajax over three players'
© Reuters
Manchester United are in discussions with Ajax over Jurrien Timber, Lisandro Martinez and Antony, according to a report.

Manchester United are reportedly in discussions with Ajax over Jurrien Timber, Lisandro Martinez and Antony, with all three players targets for the 20-time English champions this summer.

The Red Devils are said to be closing in on an agreement with Barcelona for the transfer of Frenkie de Jong, with the Dutchman potentially being confirmed as the first signing of the Erik ten Hag era this week.

However, Timber, Martinez and Antony have also been strongly linked with moves to Old Trafford, with all three players impressing under Ten Hag in Amsterdam last term.

A deal for Timber had allegedly broken down, with Dutch journalist Marcel van der Kraan recently claiming that Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal had talked the defender out of moving to the Red Devils.

"Absolutely dead in the water. The player I think was ready to come, his agents went over to London, to Manchester United's officers two weeks ago, had very good talks. The money was never a problem," Van der Kraan told Sky Sports News.

Ajax defender Jurrien Timber pictured in April 2021© Reuters

"But then one man turned up, Louis van Gaal. He told the player in the Dutch camp, look if you go there I think your chances could be limited for playing for Holland in the World Cup three months later.

"Now for Jurrien Timber, a great Ajax style player, a ten Hag style player, that was a bit of a blow. Louis Van Gaal made it clear that he would not be in his Dutch team if he was playing every week for United."

However, according to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, Man United are still in talks with Ajax over Timber, in addition to Argentine defender Martinez and Brazilian attacker Antony.

"It is important to clarify that Man United are focused on Frenkie de Jong and in direct talks with Barcelona, but they are also negotiating for other players. The club is active on multiple deals, including discussions with Ajax on Timber, Lisandro Martinez (but Arsenal are also working for the Argentine centre-back) and Antony," Romano wrote in his column for CaughtOffside.

Arsenal are believed to be determined to sign Martinez this summer, but Ajax are not under pressure to sell and would allegedly not consider offers of under £45m.

Lisandro Martinez warms up for Ajax on December 9, 2020© Reuters

Antony, meanwhile, impressed for his Dutch club during the 2021-22 campaign, scoring 12 goals and registering 10 assists in 32 appearances in all competitions.

However, Dutch journalist Van der Kraan recently said that the Brazil international could be priced out of a move to Manchester, with Ajax valuing him at £80m.

"Antony, for instance, is worth £80m in the eyes of Ajax. The prices they are asking for are absolutely huge because they have no need to sell. They know Man United, like many clubs in Europe at this moment, need players. So it's a very awkward position Manchester United are in at the moment," Van der Kraan told Sky Sports News.

"Antony, he (Ten Hag) thinks is a great player but he knows he is too expensive at this moment, and that Frenkie de Jong is much more of an important player for him than Antony."

Man United were back in pre-season training on Monday, with Ten Hag taking charge of his first session since being confirmed as the club's new head coach towards the latter stages of last season.

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Ajax winger Antony pictured in September 2021
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