Manchester United are on the brink of beating Arsenal to the transfer of Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez with a deal likely to be done within the next 24 to 48 hours.
The Argentina international has been a key player for Ajax down the years, impressing under Erik ten Hag, who is now manager of Man United after replacing Ralf Rangnick this summer.
The Red Devils needed a top signing at the back to help support struggling performers such as Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane, and Martinez looks ideal to help the club in Ten Hag’s first season in charge.
According to Fabrizio Romano in his exclusive column for CaughtOffside on Substack, a deal is all but done for Martinez after Man Utd’s talks in Amsterdam yesterday, with Arsenal’s interest never getting to quite that advanced a stage.
“Ajax rejected €45m plus €5m add-ons last week for Martinez. Manchester United have now offered €50m plus add-ons and the deal is really close to being completed, also because the player is pushing to join Man United. Positive talks were held yesterday and it now looks like this could be a done deal within 24-48 hours,” Romano writes.
“Arsenal were close to Lisandro but there was never a total agreement with Ajax, Mikel Arteta and Edu are now considering other centre-backs. Manchester United were able to move ahead thanks to the Erik ten Hag factor as he wanted Lisandro as priority target – and also a large salary offer to the player.”
Gunners fans will no doubt be intrigued by Romano’s claim that a defender is still a target for the club this summer.
Arteta already has Ben White, Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba to choose from at the back, but it will be interesting to see who else they might try to add to their list of options, with the north London giants clearly keen to improve their squad depth after they were left a little short in some areas last season.
Martinez could have been ideal, but it perhaps makes sense that he favoured a reunion with Ten Hag at Old Trafford instead.