Manchester United are reportedly going to ‘gazump Arsenal‘ in their attempts to sign Lisandro Martínez from Ajax this summer. Reports from David McDonnell of The Mirror have suggested this move after United’s target Jurrien Timber will remain an Ajax player.
It was suggested that Timber was told by Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal, a former United manager who was sacked by the Glazers after winning the Emirates FA Cup, gave the impression that Timber would only be selected for the World Cup squad as a regular player at club level.
This led to suggestions of him turning down a move to stay where he is – at least for the time being. With this news, United seem to have moved to another target, Martínez, who has recently been chased by Arsenal. The 24-year-old was a regular under Erik ten Hag at Ajax last season.
Arsenal placed a £25 million bid for the Argentinan defender recently, which was rejected and now Ten Hag could swoop in and steal ‘Mikel Arteta’s top defensive target‘. This would be a stunning move for United, who have not yet achieve anything in the summer transfer market.
United will need to start getting things done as Ten Hag is expected to welcome back some of United’s players just a week from today as he starts preseason training, with other squad members returning next month, presumably during the leg of the preseason tour in Thailand and Australia.
The Old Trafford club has been linked to Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, despite not yet agreeing a fee with Barcelona but reports suggest that it is only a matter of time before that is the case and United get their man. But will it placate the fans who constantly moan about transfers?
Martínez has a contract with Ajax that expires in the summer of 2025, so they will not be seeking to sell him on the cheap. Last season, the 24-year-old made a total of 36 appearances for his club, scoring one goal and four assists winning the Ajax Player of the Year award.
During his career at Ajax, Martínez has won back to back Eredivisie titles, one KNVB Cup and one Johan Cruyff Shield. He is an Argentina international, having seven caps, helping to win the Copa América and the CONMEBOL–UEFA Cup of Champions.
Martínez is predominantly a central defender but can also play at left-back and in defensive midfield but played last season in the centre of the defence, filling in as a left-back seven times in the 2020/21 season and as a defensive midfielder in the 2019/20 season.
Written by John Walker