Manchester United and Arsenal have reportedly met the representatives of Ajax defender Lisandro Martínez in London and were told that £42 million should secure the deal to sign him, according to Simon Mullock of The Mirror. If true, this news is slightly more positive that it was earlier this week.
Arsenal had already bid £25 million for the Argentinian defender but that was rebuffed by the Dutch champions. United were apparently set to offer £30 million for the player, but that would have been turned down too, getting neither club anywhere.
It is suggested in the report that Martínez wants to move to the Premier League this summer but fears Ajax will price him out of a move with their desire to put massive transfer fees on players now with a few already having left the club and the fact they have no need to sell.
The lack of desire for Ajax to sell any more players this summer did not stop intermediaries for the player meeting with both United and Arsenal in which is was reportedly confirmed that £42 million should secure the player from the Eredivisie champions this summer.
United manager Erik ten Hag feels that Martínez’s versatility would be beneficial for United, adding ‘real strength‘ to the squad which he has inherited. Mikel Arteta is also impressed by Martínez’s ‘ability to operate in different positions‘ a trait he is seeking for his defence.
United are also interested in signing Antony this summer too and his large price tag has not put them off, providing they strengthen in the areas that they need to and manager to offload a number of players who are reportedly up for sale.
Last season, Martínez made a total of 36 appearances for his club, scoring one goal and four assists – finishing the season with back-to-back Eredivisie titles and the 24-year-old being named as Ajax’s Player of the Year for his brilliant performances for his club.
It is clear that Ten Hag admires the player and sees a benefit in adding him to his squad, providing that United can do that – if it really is an option. However, the competition from Arsenal might seem better with them in a better stage after a poor start last season.
There would be no real difference between United and Arsenal as neither have UEFA Champions League football next season finishing fifth (Arsenal) and sixth (United) last season. It is a fresh start for United and Martínez will know what to expect under Ten Hag – if he wants to work with him again.
Written by John Walker