Arsenal have not given up the race with Manchester United to sign Lisandro Martinez from Ajax.
The Gunners were reported to have had at least two offers turned down for the Argentine as they look to bolster their defensive options ahead of the new season.
United then joined the fray and put in an offer of their own of €45 million, close to the €50 million being demanded by the Dutch champions for the centre back – although €5m of the total was in add-ons.
With rumours that Martinez might prefer an Old Trafford switch over a Emirates one, it looked as if United had won the race yesterday but according to Tier 1 journalist David Ornstein, the Gunners still have some bullets left to fire.
“Arsenal are scheduled to meet Ajax next week as the battle to sign defender Lisandro Martinez intensifies, The Athletic understands,” Ornstein wrote.
“Both English sides believe Martinez is happy to join them and personal terms are not expected to be an issue.
“The 24-year-old will have to choose his preferred destination.
“Martinez is said to have told the Eredivisie champions that the only option he will consider this summer is a move to the Premier League.
Ornstein also reiterated a claim made by his colleague at The Athletic, Laurie Whitwell, that Lisandro had an agreement from Ajax that they would not stand in his way if a Premier League club came in for him.
Arsenal certainly seem determined to make the deal although reports, including that of Ornstein, claim that they intend to redeploy him as a left back and “compete with Kieran Tierney for a spot”.
With Luke Shaw, Alex Telles, the incoming Tyrell Malacia and prodigious talent Alvaro Fernandes as left back options, United will almost certainly want the 24 year old as a central defender, although he can also play in defensive midfield.
Assuming both clubs eventually match Ajax’s asking price, Lisandro’s choice may depend on which position he prefers to play and at which club he believes he is more likely to get guaranteed first team football.