Transfer News

Arsenal and Man Utd make contact with star defender as new asking price is revealed

Arsenal and Manchester United have made contact with Lisandro Martinez’s representatives as they step up their bids to sign the Ajax defender.

Martinez has established himself as one of the best defenders in Holland and a regular for Argentina over the past two seasons.

The 24-year-old played a starring role in Ajax’s successive Eredivisie title wins under Erik ten Hag and is now open to a move to an even bigger European club.

United have been linked with Martinez since they lured Dutch manager Ten Hag from Ajax, but the Red Devils face competition from Premier League rivals Arsenal.

According to the Daily Mirror, intermediaries from both Arsenal and Manchester United met the defender’s representatives in London during the week to discuss a move to England.

It is claimed that Arsenal have already made a £25m enquiry for Martinez, while United hoped to secure his signature in a deal worth £30m. However, Ajax have set a £42m asking price.

Ten Hag trusts Martinez and believes his versatility can be a real addition to his squad at Old Trafford, while Arteta is reportedly keen to bolster his defensive options as he looks to take Arsenal back into the Champions League.

Both clubs have other priorities, however, with Arsenal desperate to complete a £45m move for Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus and Manchester United making progress on a deal for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong.

The chance to reunite with Ten Hag may appeal to Martinez, but the Argentina international has been warned about a move to Arsenal as his game-time may suffer.

Former Ajax star Marciano Vink said earlier this week: ‘You never know, of course, but if there are so many economic gains to be made.

‘Ajax should always focus on the next one. I think €40m should definitely be negotiable.

‘I think [Ben] White is good, and Gabriel is still a bit unpolished. Neither of them are brilliant builders.

‘He [Martinez] would be brought in for the position of left central defender, and I don’t think they’ll take Gabriel out at Arsenal just like that. If they get Martinez, I think they’ll get him for the bench. As a back-up.’

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