Ajax have reportedly accepted defeat in trying to stop Lisandro Martinez from leaving the club this summer, according to Paul Hirst of The Times. Both Manchester United and Arsenal held interest in the player with numerous bids by each club which had been rejected.
United’s last bid was £43 million, which included add-ons but the Amsterdam club would like to get around €50 million for the player, which would be more than met by the reported £46 million offer supposedly coming from United.
It was reported on Tuesday evening that United and Ajax were meeting on Wednesday to hold negotiations for the player, which suggests that this deal could be completed in the next few days. Obviously United would like to have the player in Australia as part of their pre-season tour.
Fabrizio Romano has confirmed that United executives are in Amsterdam to meet with Ajax aiming to complete a deal for Martinez this summer. He also says that personal terms have been agreed with the Argentinian defender. He also confirmed that Ajax are now open to sell the player.
United could well be overstocked with defenders this season with Eric Bailly seeking to fight for his place in the team this season. The club also has Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane and Axel Tuanzebe as experienced players in that position.
Martinez can also play at left-back but with Luke Shaw, Alex Telles and Tyrell Malacia, not to mention Brandon Williams, it is unlikely that he will feature in that position. The Argentinian, 24, can also play in a defensive midfield role, which could be where he features for United this season.
David McDonnell of The Mirror has reported that should United sign Martinez this summer it would spell the end for Bailly, Jones and Tuanzebe, ensuring that Erik Ten Hag’s squad is not overloaded with central defenders this summer – which is understandable.
It could well be that Ten Hag wants him as a central defender but could utilise him in other positions when needed. It could well be bad news for Bailly, who seems determined to fight for his place this summer but could have fewer minutes than last season, which would be a shame.
United are still trying to conclude other deals with Christian Eriksen and Frenkie de Jong still no near completion. The club will also have to deal with the rumours surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo, who has not travelled on tour and seems to have offered himself to Paris Saint-Germain.
Written by John Walker