Why Manchester United don’t need to repeat £47m hijack over rivals bid for “great player”

Why Manchester United don’t need to repeat £47m hijack over rivals bid for “great player”

Last summer Manchester United hijacked Arsenal’s deal for Lisandro Martinez, now as the Gunners target Jurrien Timber could it happen again?

Lisandro Martinez has became a fan favourite at Old Trafford in his inaugural season. It is therefore insane to consider he could have instead been lining out at the Emirates for Arsenal if Mikel Arteta had his way.

Martinez had other ideas however, as Erik ten Hag told Dutch publication Voetbal International.

The Manchester United boss revealed ‘The Butcher’ had called him and said, “Boss, listen, I’m leaving Ajax anyway. I can sign with Arsenal but if you want me I’ll come to Manchester United!”

A quick way to make yourself a favourite with the Stretford End.

Now a similar situation seems to be emerging, with Arsenal’s reported interest in Jurrien Timber, who is a long term target for ten Hag.

However, unlike with Martinez, hijacking this deal isn’t in United’s best interests. Here is why…

Timber’s positions aren’t the priority

One thing that’s becoming certain about this transfer window is that United don’t have a huge budget.

This will therefore require ten Hag to prioritise his most troubled positions, something signing Timber would hinder.

The 22-year-old can play both centre-back and right-back, but given his stature, starting next to Martinez isn’t an option.

Therefore he would be likely signed as a right-back – but this is a position United are relatively stacked in, with Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Ajax v AZ Alkmaar - Dutch Eredivisie
Photo by Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images

One reason for signing Timber could be to raise the squad’s technical ability, perhaps if ten Hag wanted to set-up similar to Pep Guardiola’s Man City side.

However, with a goalkeeper, striker and midfielder all necessities this summer, Timber could be the right player at the wrong time.

Timber no doubt has a huge potential, with his Netherlands teammate Virgil van Djik once saying, “I have nothing but praise for him. He is a great player and a true professional.”

However despite this, United shouldn’t be looking to hijack this deal… at least not until the priority positions have been filled.

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