While a number of Premier League clubs have already confirmed some keys transfer deals this summer, things have remained relatively quiet at Manchester United.
The club entered this season knowing that a major rebuild was needed, with the expectation being that they would attempt to get their business done quickly in order to ensure that new manager Erik ten Hag would have a full pre-season with his squad.
That hasn't proved to be the case. Whereas the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool have brought in some expensive recruits, United's dealings have been restricted to the gossip columns.
Ten Hag is sure to have given the club a number of preferred targets. Frenkie de Jong is thought to be at top of his wish-list, although negotiations with Barcelona have yet to reach an advanced stage. There are also some doubts about whether the midfielder would be interested in moving to Old Trafford without Champions League football. Christian Eriksen has also been linked, with the Dane available on a free transfer.
It remains to be seen if that pair will sign on the dotted line, although it appears as though the club have missed out on one target they thought was very close to agreeing to a move.
Louis van Gaal halts Jurrien Timber to United deal
Manchester United had been close to signing Ajax defender Jurrien Timber, with the clubs close to agreeing a £30million deal. Having worked with Erik ten Hag in Amsterdam, it was thought the 21-year old would be a keen on a move to the Premier League.
However, it appears that former United boss Louis van Gaal has played a role in changing the player's mind.
Now manager of The Netherlands, van Gaal reportedly told Timber he would not travel to the World Cup later this year if he found playing time hard to come by in England. Journalist Marcel van der Kraan says this conversation resulted in the Ajax player backing out of the deal.
🗣️ "Louis Van Gaal made it clear that he would not be in his Dutch team if he wasn't playing every week for United"
Marcel Van Der Kraan reports that Louis Van Gaal may have affected Jurrien Timber's potential transfer to Manchester United ❌ pic.twitter.com/Gtn1sOuV2M
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) June 19, 2022
It's absolutely dead in the water.
The player was ready to come, his agents went over to London to Manchester United's offices two weeks ago. I think they had very good talks and money was never a problem.
Then one man turned up: Louis van Gaal.
He told the player in the Dutch camp 'if you go there, I think your chances could be limited for playing for Holland in the World Cup three months later'.
For Jurrien Timber, a great Ajax and 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 wasn't playing every week for United. United have Maguire, they've got Varane, they've got great central defenders and he would not be playing every week, you wouldn't be if you're 21-years old.
I'm sure ten Hag would have wanted to slowly draft him into the team and play him at the right times.
Timber said 'look boss, I can't come with you to United because my Holland place is more important'.
This latest development is unlikely to go down well with United fans, many of whom already have a poor relationship with van Gaal.
The Dutchman has been open in his criticisms of the club since he left, previously saying Erik ten Hag should be careful about moving to Manchester.
He certainly won't be welcomed back to Old Trafford with open arms anytime soon.