Mikel Arteta target makes Arsenal his ‘dream’ with Man Utd example cited for Gunners pursuit
Arsenal have been given another boost in their pursuit of Jurrien Timber with reports that joining the Premier League club is the Ajax defender’s dream.
The Gunners are looking to strengthen over the summer with the club now back in the Champions League. A second-place finish means Mikel Arteta will lead his charges into Europe’s elite club competition. Many players have been linked with the north Londoners, with Timber among them.
It was recently reported that they had already had one bid for the versatile stopper rejected. That was around the £30m mark, with Ajax seeking a figure closer to £50m.
And, with Bayern Munich also said to be interested, it is by no means certain that he will end up at the Emirates.
However, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano recently tweeted that he has “accepted to join Arsenal”.
And now De Telegraaf journalist Mike Verweij has backed up those claims.
Speaking on the Kick-off podcast, he made it clear that there are just two clubs in the running.
And the Netherlands international is clearly targeting a move to the capital.
“Timber has said from the very first moment that he only wants to leave Ajax for an absolute top club,” he said.
“He doesn’t listen at all to other clubs that report after Arsenal and Bayern Munich.
“Even Bayern Munich, who have not yet made an offer, are still waiting. Because Arsenal are his dream and priority. He set his sights on that.”
Compromise expected on Timber price
It is expected to be another summer of big-name signings around Europe, with many top stars on the move.
Arsenal look set to be involved in a few, with Declan Rice their undoubted number one target.
The West Ham man is valued at around the £100m mark, with the Gunners having already had a number of bids rejected.
Timber is not in that bracket but the 22-year-old will not come cheap.
The Amsterdam giants dismissed Arsenal’s opening offer out of hand.
They want around £50m but Verweij believes the clubs will agree to meet half way.
“Ajax and Arsenal really still have to negotiate about the transfer fee,” he added. “But Timber has also been promised to think along, so there is an agreement.
“No fixed transfer fee, but that we think along. Ajax bet on €60m. I think they will come out between €40m and €50m (£35m and £42m).
Arsenal to follow Man Utd example
Manchester United seemed to take a gamble when recruiting Lisandro Martinez last summer.
The Argentina international appeared too short to operate as a central defender in the Premier League.
But he has proved his doubters wrong, with a stellar campaign as the Red Devils finished third.
The South American was also recruited for Ajax and Verweij feels that might influence Arsenal’s pursuit of Timber.
“The fact that Martinez did so well at United was also an indication for Arsenal that it is possible to get players from the Eredivisie who immediately do well,” he continued.