Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Lisandro Martinez transfer news: Ajax star has ‘hopes pinned’ on Man Utd move, despite Arsenal pursuit

Ajax player Lisandro Martinez

Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez will have his ‘hopes pinned’ on a Manchester United move, according to one journalist, as the Red Devils prepare to battle with Arsenal for his signature.

Erik ten Hag is keen for Manchester United to sign Martinez. He knows the 24-year-old well from their time together at Ajax. Last season, Martinez made 36 outings for Ajax as the Dutch club won the Eredivisie title and lost in the final of the KNVB Cup.

Ten Hag is clearly prioritising deals for players he was previously worked with. Frenkie de Jong, Jurrien Timber and Antony have all been in Manchester United’s sights recently.

According to Thursday’s Transfer Gossip, Arsenal are fiercely rivalling Manchester United for Martinez. They have made a new £34m bid for the centre-back, which could rise to £40m through add-ons.

United could soon submit an official offer for Martinez, setting up a potential bidding war. They will need to pay £43m for the Argentina international, as this is the sum Ajax are holding out for.

The Sun claim Martinez will become Ten Hag’s top priority once a deal for De Jong is wrapped up. And it’s no surprise, given Martinez’s top displays under the coach last season.

De Telegraaf journalist Marcel van der Kraan has given his verdict on United’s hopes of landing the centre-half.

Van Der Kraan said (via Sport Witness): “Lisandro Martinez is very high on Erik ten Hag’s wishlist, so I expect big developments in the 24 or 48 hours.

Lisandro Martinez has ‘hopes pinned’ on Man Utd

“Martinez will also have his hopes pinned on United, who are an absolute top club for him.

“Ajax will really cash out for Martinez and go to €45-50m, but that is the advantage if two clubs bid, as we saw with Lyon and Manchester United, then it suddenly goes higher.”

Feyenoord left-back Tyrell Malacia had been in line to join Lyon, as Van Der Kraan refers to, before United suddenly became an option.

The Red Devils have reportedly agreed a £14.6m fee to sign Malacia from Feyenoord. The 22-year-old could therefore become the first new signing of the Ten Hag era – with both De Jong and Martinez tipped to follow.

Van Der Kraan also gave an update on the state of play involving Malacia and United. “The deal is done, and yesterday he spoke about his own terms,” the journalist said.

“They were not so complicated because he already knew what he could earn at Lyon. Manchester United only had to go a little bit over that.

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.

“I think he’s going to have a great time there. It’s obvious he’s a boy who is really made for English football with his dynamism, fierceness, and physical strength despite not being that tall. He really is a top boy.

“You all know that if Manchester United are in the market and you are a footballer, then yes, you go there and not Lyon.”

United could end up spending a lot of money to appease Ten Hag. But this is what they need to do to catch up with Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea.

United fans will be hoping the likes of Malacia and Martinez adapt quickly to the Premier League. The duo have yet to play in one of Europe’s top five leagues so far.

Meanwhile, Bruno Fernandes has been speaking about the future of compatriot and United team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo.