Man Utd enter ‘advanced negotiations’ as defender ‘prefers’ Old Trafford transfer over Arsenal

Man Utd target Lisandro Martinez rides a bike Credit: PA Images

Man Utd target Lisandro Martinez rides a bike Credit: PA Images

Man Utd are reportedly stepping up their pursuit of Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez with Arsenal showing serious interest in the player.

The Gunners have made the highest bid for the Argentina international so far with reports claiming they have now submitted three offers for Martinez.

He was one of Ajax’s best players last season as they won the Eredivisie title under new Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag, with Martinez as he played 37 matches in all competitions.

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And The Athletic now has an update on Martinez’s future and claims the centre-back ‘prefers’ a move to Man Utd over Arsenal after the Red Devils entered ‘advanced negotiations’ over a possible transfer.

It was claimed on Tuesday that Arsenal have submitted a new €40m offer to Ajax – who will not be forced to sell for less than they want this summer – but it still falls short of the Dutch side’s valuation of the defender.

And it seems Man Utd are in the best position to seal a deal with The Athletic adding:

Sources say United feel they have edged ahead as favorites for the Argentina international, who spent three seasons playing under Ten Hag in the Eredivisie. Martinez has yet to make a decision because neither United nor Arsenal have yet reached an agreement with Ajax. He is still on holiday.

Ajax are holding out for a higher fee but further talks over the weekend are expected to establish a final price.

‘Arsenal’s pursuit of Martinez continues and personal terms would not be a problem for the north London side. The issue now is which club can agree a fee with Ajax and then who Martinez decides to join.’

Dutch football expert Marcel van der Kraan recently claimed that Ten Hag and Man Utd would be “lucky” to get both Martinez and Ajax team-mate Antony, who they are also rumored to be interested in.

“So many Ajax players are being linked with Ten Hag and Manchester United, and of course he can’t take them all,” Van der Kraan toldalkSPORT.

“I think he’s lucky if he gets two. Why? Ajax have no need to sell any more. They’re just about to do a £38million deal to sell Sebastien Haller to Borussia Dortmund – that looks done.

“Their books have always been balanced over the last few years and they have said they want to keep their squad together. They’ll let go of one or two, Haller was the first one and the Mexican Edson Alvarez is the other one – he can go.

“Now, for every other player, they’re going to play hard-ball, so if Man United want Antony they’ll have to come up with a massive amount of cash.

“We do know here that Ten Hag has said the cash – which is available – let’s first spend it on Frenkie de Jong and if there is more possible, we’ll look then. But if they spend it now on certain players, United will have to tell him, ‘look, there’s nothing left to buy De Jong’.

“We understand that Frenkie is the man he really needs to change the style of play at Manchester United, of course he needs a new winger as well, but the price on the table for Antony has to be £50m, easily. £50m-plus if they want him.

“Then it might be a point of consideration for Ajax. Do we let him go? For £50m, yes, maybe. But it’s a lot of money.

“Lisandro Martinez could be tempted away. He’s one of those players who would kick all the walls in if they don’t let him go. Martinez has done really well at Ajax, he’s a real fighter.

2 I don’t think he would have been under the light of Ten Hag had they got Timber, but Louis van Gaal is putting his foot in the transfer policy of Manchester United and is advising players to stay where they are instead of joining United, so it’s been a bit more difficult for Ten Hag.”

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