Jurrien Timber of Ajax has stunned Erik ten Hag by turning down a move to Manchester United this summer.
Ten Hag gave the defender his Ajax debut, and the Dutchman has helped Timber become a Netherlands international.
Ten Hag was so certain of signing Timber that he instructed the club to prioritize agreements for Frenkie de Jong and Christian Eriksen before discussing one for Timber.
According to the Mirror, Ten Hag has been’stunned’ by Timber’s refusal to transfer to Old Trafford and is now expected to stay at Ajax.
The Dutchman is concerned that a move to the Theatre of Dreams, where he is unlikely to be an automatic first choice, could harm his World Cup ambitions.
Louis van Gaal has reminded Dutch players that they must play for their clubs week in and week out if they want to make Van Gaal’s World Cup team, and Timber is said to be spooked by the warning.
United will now hunt for another defensive target, with Villarreal’s Pau Torres on their radar.
The Spaniard was a target for the Red Devils last summer, but he chose to stay at his boyhood club instead, and his decision was vindicated by their incredible run to the Champions League semi-finals last season.
Torres’ contract has a £50 million release clause.