Manchester United will ‘turn their attention’ to signing Ajax defender Lisandro Martínez after completing a deal to sign Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord, according to Paul Hurst of The Times. It was reported on Tuesday that United moved to sign Malacia who was tipped to join Lyon.
United, of course, are still trying to get Frenkie de Jong’s transfer from Barcelona completed, which is getting closer as each day passes. 22-year-old Malacia looks set to switch to United for £13 million up front with £1.7 million in add-ons.
Hurst’s report suggests that instead of trying to sign Antony from Ajax, the club will seek to sign Martínez, 24, who is also subject to interest from United’s Premier League rivals, Arsenal. The North London club have offered £34 million for the player, but need to pay £43 million.
Martínez made 36 appearances for Ajax last season, scoring one goal and four assists, helping the club win back-to-back Eredivisie titles with the Argentinian international securing the clubs Player of the Year award. It would seem that the player would like to move to the Premier League.
It has been stated that United have informed Ajax that they would like to be kept updated on Martínez’s transfer situation, seemingly with the club ready to take on Arsenal to secure the Argentinian this summer, which would upset Mikel Arteta.
However, at this stage of the transfer window, Arsenal seem to have a free run at the player but could end up in a similar situation to that of Olympique Lyonnais who have seemingly been beaten to Malacia, getting close to the finish line on a transfer.
Earlier in the transfer window, it was suggested that United would try to solve the midfield problem, which could be done with the signing of Frenkie de Jong and Christian Eriksen, if he chooses United. Then Erik ten Hag’s were said to be seeking to solve an attacking problem, seemingly with Antony.
However, with the £68.9 million price tag being placed on the Brazilian’s head this summer, it would leave United with little to work with, at least until they make some sales. So with Malacia’s pending deal close to being completed, the defence seems to be the area United will solve instead.
Granted, the transfer window will be open for two more months and that gives United some room to get rid of the likes of Phil Jones, Eric Bailly, Alex Telles, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Axel Tuanzebe, Andreas Pereira and Anthony Martial – then perhaps United could make a move for Antony?
Written by John Walker