Arsenal submit bid for sublime ball-playing defender as Ornstein reveals agreement on personal terms

Arsenal submit bid for sublime ball-playing defender as Ornstein reveals agreement on personal terms

Arsenal have made an offer to Ajax for Jurrien Timber, it has been revealed, although there is still some distance between how the two clubs value the player.

Timber is an Ajax academy graduate who has played more than 100 times for their senior team. Also a 15-cap international for the Netherlands, his potential has become obvious. This season, despite Ajax finishing third, he averaged more touches per game than any other Eredivisie player.

Highly rated for his ball-playing abilities from the back, Timber can play as a centre-half or at right-back, which has caught Arsenal’s attention.

Arsenal are in the market for a defensive reinforcement this summer after relying on Benjamin White out of position at full-back in the season just gone.

Now, according to a report by David Ornstein for The Athletic, Arsenal have put a bid in for Timber. On offer to Ajax is a transfer fee in the region of £30million.

Unfortunately, that bid is unlikely to succeed. Ajax would prefer to receive somewhere closer to £50m for the 22-year-old.

Nevertheless, Ornstein has suggested a compromise can be found. Furthermore, Timber is said to have agreed personal terms with Arsenal already.

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They could give him his first chance of playing in the Premier League. Involvement in the Champions League – a competition Timber has already made 15 appearances in for Ajax – would also be on offer.

Not too many members of a fairly youthful Arsenal squad have significant Champions League experience. Therefore, Timber’s addition to the ranks could be beneficial as they prepare to compete in the top UEFA tournament for the first time since the 2016-17 season.

If he was to stay at Ajax – who have him under contract for another two years – Timber would at a maximum be able to play in the Europa League if they can navigate a play-off tie.

Jurrien Timber emerging from busiest season with Ajax

Timber played in all but one of Ajax’s 48 matches in the 2022-23 campaign, mainly at centre-back. Along with Dusan Tadic, their only other ever-present in the Eredivisie, he was their most-used player in all competitions.

But it could now be time for the Dutchman to take the next leap in his career. Previously, he has been linked with Liverpool (who came up against him in the Champions League this season) or a reunion with Erik ten Hag at Man Utd.

Yet it is Arsenal who have made the first move in the battle to bring Timber to the Premier League. Due to his versatility, he could compete with the likes of William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes, White and Takehiro Tomiyasu for a place in Mikel Arteta’s starting lineup.

Earlier this month, Timber admitted he didn’t know if he would be staying in Amsterdam.

“I’m not in talks with Ajax right now,” he said. “I spoke briefly to [Ajax director of football and former Arsenal employee, Sven] Mislintat in the beginning. My agent had a good talk with him a few times.

“But it’s not like we’re talking about anything right now.

“Will I stay with Ajax anyway? I’m not sure.”

A negotiation for Timber to join Arsenal will have to go through their former director, Mislintat. It makes for an interesting subplot, but there seems to be confidence that they can win the race regardless.

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