Even though Manchester United have had a slow start in the transfer market, things could go into overdrive before the team departs for their pre-season tour on July 8th. The club have already sealed a deal for left-back Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord with midfielder Frenkie de Jong increasingly likely to make the move from Barcelona to Manchester. Now according to multiple reports, new manager Erik ten Hag wants to secure the signing of Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez next.
The Red Devils created the unwanted record of conceding the most goals in their Premier League history last time out. And Ten Hag is aware of the need to reinvigorate the defence with the addition of multiple players. Martinez ranks highly in that list. Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe are likely to leave.
The 20-time English champions are not the only Premier League club after the Argentine’s signature with Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta keen to sign the Ajax defender.
There have been positive talks over Martinez.
United following a similar pattern to Malacia pursuit. #mufc
— James Robson (@jamesalanrobson) July 1, 2022
The Gunners have already had two bids rejected by the Dutch champions. Their most recent offer was around £35m plus add-ons. Ajax value their player at close to £45 million and were ready to compromise on that fee. Now they are hoping for a bidding war to erupt between both English clubs in a bid to receive a higher fee.
Ten Hag was the one to bring the 24-year-old from Defensa in 2019 to Holland as a replacement for the departing Matthijs De Ligt. Both De Telegraaf, and The MEN have reported that the Argentina international is keen on a move to Manchester and wants a reunion with his former boss.
“Martinez is very high on Erik ten Hag’s wishlist, so I expect big developments in the next 24 or 48 hours. Martinez will also have his hopes pinned on United, who are an absolute top club for him,” Dutch journalist Marcel van der Kraan had written.
United trying to hijack another deal
“The 24-year-old, who can play in midfield or defence and is also wanted by Arsenal, is valued at around £43m but Ajax have signalled they may be willing to compromise over the fee,” ESPN added.
This is excellent news as previous reports had suggested the Amsterdam outfit were prepared to play hard ball over the asking price.
The Red Devils have been waiting for Arsenal to move ahead and agree a fee in order to gauge the exact amount needed to get the move done. This same approach was on full display as they hijacked a move for Malacia who was seemingly headed to Olympique Lyonnais.
According to The Athletic, United have established themselves as favorites for the Argentine despite competition from Arsenal. Advanced negotiations are taking place between both clubs.
It was then that the club shifted their attention to Timber’s defensive partner. The Newell’s Old Boys academy graduate can play in multiple positions including in the left-side of defence and is equally adept as a disruptor in the middle of the park, akin to Fernandinho in Manchester City.
Martinez in the past had told newspaper Ole that his idol growing up was former United defender Gabriel Heinze.
Fans will be doubly delighted if the move materializes as they can solve multiple issues as well as get one over fierce rivals Arsenal who were seemingly favourites to land the Argentine. A busy July is right around the corner for United and things finally seem to be falling into place.