Manchester United are closing in on a deal for Ajax and Argentine defender Lisandro Martinez. In a report by the Telegraph, the Red Devils are edging closer to an agreement with the Dutch club for the transfer of the 24-year-old to Old Trafford.
Initially reluctant to let Martinez go after already losing several players, the report by the Telegraph claims that there is now a willingness on both sides to get a deal for the Argentine over the line.
Initially, Manchester United had seen an improved bid of £43 million rejected by the Dutch champions, with Ajax club chiefs looking to stir up a bidding war between United and Arsenal, who were also in for Martinez but now look set to lose out on the defender who prefers a reunion with his former manager at the Theatre of Dreams.
James Ducker, in his article, reports, “Ajax are ready to accept defeat in their efforts to keep Lisandro Martinez with Manchester United hoping to get a £46m deal over the line.”
ESPN’s Rob Dawson also broke the news just minutes ago that United are indeed closing in on the signing of the Ajax star, with the club making a U-turn and seemingly willing to grant the player’s wish to secure a move to the Premier League.
Similar sentiments have been echoed by the Athletic, who have also reported that United are holding talks with Ajax to complete a deal for Martinez, with sources optimistic that an agreement between both clubs, who have a great relationship between them, can be found.
Italian journalist and transfer guru Fabrizio Romano put out information about a meeting scheduled to take place today between Ajax and United, with negotiations entering ‘key stages.’ It would appear that the new boss in the United dugout, Erik ten Hag, will finally get his man with Romano indicating that a new bid for the player is ready, which Ajax would be prepared to accept.
Martinez would represent just the second signing of the summer, with expected personal terms for the player not expected to be an issue.
If United do indeed succeed in finalizing a deal for the 24-year-old Argentine, his role in forcing through a transfer to United should not go unnoticed.
Martinez, as per multiple reports, is said to have made it clear to the Dutch outfit that he would only consider a move to the Premier League.
He extended his contract last October with an understanding that should a suitable opportunity come his way, the club would not stand in his way.
Arsenal were also keen on Martinez and saw him primarily as a left-back who would compete with Kieran Tierney. Reports suggest the North London club believes they are out of the race for Martinez, with United set to pay €46 million inclusive of add-ons for the Ajax superstar.
It remains to be seen in which position Ten Hag would deploy Martinez, who can operate in multiple positions, including as a wing-back, a center-back and also as a central defensive midfielder, a position that former United player Jaap Stam revealed Ten Hag would most likely use Martinez in.
United fans will undoubtedly be hoping that a deal for Martinez can be concluded quickly and the player joins up with the rest of the squad who kicked off their pre-season tour on Friday.