Manchester Utd suffer transfer blow in pursuit of Ajax star


The National Crime Agency is looking into Granit Xhaka's yellow card against Leeds United, amid concerns of a big scandal stemming from unusual betting activity on his booking. The Swiss midfielder was booked for timewasting despite his side recording a 4-1 win over the Peacocks.

Back in December 2021, the English FA issued a statement that it was going to investigate the 'mysterious booking' picked up by Xhaka in the Matchday 18 encounter. Martinelli's brace and a goal apiece by Saka and Smith Rowe had already put Arsenal in a comfortable position. However, in the 86th minute, the Gunners registered their first booking of the game from referee Andre Marriner for time wasting. Xhaka was the culprit and his crime was that he had delayed the taking a free-kick.

The referee's call would have normally been overlooked but an investigation became neccessary when a large bet of about £52,000 placed on the Swizerland international to be booked inside the final 10 minutes of the game. According to the Daily Mail, the leading bookmakers who reported the incident to the FA stated that the sum was far more than what is usually wagered on yellow cards.

Another notable aspect of the incident was that the odds on the betting exchange for Xhaka being booked were greater in the final 10 minutes than they had been before kickoff, further stirring suspicions. It has been six months since the probing began and the FA have now referred the matter to the UK's leading organised crime agency in a bid to bring finality to the matter. 

While there is no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Arsenal or Xhaka, the revelation raises serious questions about corruption and possAjax defender Jurrien Timber is reportedly set to become the latest player to reject a move to join Erik ten Hag's Manchester United this summer. The Netherlands under-21 star is said to have developed cold feet in recent times as after negotiations hit a standstill over personal terms.

After being announced as United's new boss prior to the conclusion of last season, Erik ten Hag recognised Timber as a potential alternative to enhance United's back four. The player's versatiltity is what is believed to have drove the interest from his former boss as he is capable of playing at both centre-back and right-back. Relatively, the 21-year-old defender was believed to be in favor of a move to Old Trafford just a few weeks ago. 

However a new report emerging from the Netherlands suggest that Timber now feels a bit indifferent towards joining the Premier League giants. According to Dutch reporter Mike Verweij, the negotiaitions is currently at an impasse as he wanted assurances over playing time, particularly ahead of the World Cup in November. As a result, he is now adamant to seal a transfer as it posess too much of a risk to move to his short-term ambition.


While the negotiations are not totally off the table, claims that Ten Hag is looking to develop Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane into a formidable centre-back ahead of next season puts Timber's arrival in doubt. On Friday, the Telegraph revealed that the Dutch coach also finds Victor Lindelof as a good competition for his first choice center-backs although the prospective departures of Axel Tuanzebe and Eric Bailly will force the club to do business in the transfer market. ible criminality.

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