Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd to react to potentially fatal De Jong blow with thumping new Lisandro Martinez bid in Arsenal setback

Lisandro Martinez, Argentina v Estonia June 2022

Manchester United are planning a bid for Ajax centre-back Lisandro Martinez that would trump the latest effort from Arsenal, a report says.

New United boss Erik ten Hag is putting a lot of transfer attention on his old club to give him a helping hand. Brazilian forward Antony is their most expensive target from the Eredivisie giants.

Ten Hag is also plotting a move for former Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong. United and Barcelona have a general agreement in place over an initial £56million deal, but fresh doubt shrouded the move on Wednesday.

Indeed, De Jong has reportedly firmly insisted that he wants to stay at Camp Nou.

But Man Utd have other irons in the fire, including Ajax centre-back Martinez. Arsenal had overtaken United in the race by making a second bid worth £35million for the Argentine.

According to talkSPORT, though, United now plan to offset their De Jong frustration by moving back into pole position for Martinez.

The Red Devils plan to increase the stakes to £40million, with Ajax still pondering Arsenal’s second approach.

The Eredivisie club are under no pressure to sell and are supposedly holding out for £43million for Martinez.

Still, they may agree to a £3million compromise, especially if they receive £5million more than what Arsenal have offered.

Man Utd, Arsenal in Martinez transfer battle

Both Man Utd and Arsenal are going through all kinds of emotions this week in the transfer market.

The Red Devils could yet see long-term midfield target De Jong slip out of their grasp. Arsenal are experiencing similar with Raphinha.

They were one of the frontrunners for the Leeds United winger and were discussing the fee. However, Chelsea now look to have gazumped the Gunners.

Moving onto Martinez, the versatile centre-back is a transfer target who could eventually let one of his two interested parties down.

On the flipside, both Arsenal and United are closing in on new signings. Arsenal are signing Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus, with Ten Hag adding Feyenoord left-back Tyrell Malacia to his ranks.

Lisandro Martinez impressive for Ajax

Lisandro Martinez, Ajax May 2022

Back on Martinez, the centre-back has shown impressive versatility to play other roles for Ajax.

He has appeared at both full-back positions and as a defensive midfielder. Players with such options are vital to Premier League squads, especially those in European competition.

Both Arsenal and United are in the Europa League group stages next season.

Ajax defender in high demand

Ajax centre back Lisandro Martinez is being targeted by both Arsenal and Manchester United as the two clubs look set to battle it out for the highly rated player’s signature.

That means a Thursday-Sunday fixture schedule for most of the first half of the season and maybe longer, depending on their knock-out stage progress.

As such, having someone like Martinez who can slot into different positions in defence will be ideal for the duo next season.