Arsenal are believed to have stepped up their pursuit of Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez, according to the latest reports.
As per journalist Fabrizio Romano, the Gunners are said to have submitted a new bid for the Argentine ace in the hopes of getting a deal over the line, albeit with Premier League rivals Manchester United also believed to be keen on the player.
Writing on Twitter, the transfer guru stated: “Arsenal have submitted a new bid for Lisandro Martinez, as reported by @MikeVerweij. €40m with add-ons included, but Ajax always asked for €50m fee. Man Utd have also been in touch with his agent. Again, Ajax have no intention to sell both Lisandro and Jurrien Timber.”
Romano’s claim suggests that the Dutch champions will not sanction the departures of both the seven-cap gem and his current team-mate Jurrien Timber, with the latter also believed to be a target for Manchester United.
That situation could well complicate matters as Mikel Arteta’s side try and pursue a deal for Martinez, although at present it would appear that they have yet to meet the asking price anyway.
Although any agreement still appears some way off, reports that the Gunners have submitted a bid will no doubt spark huge excitement among their supporters, with it shaping up to be a hugely impressive transfer window for the club.
After the disappointment of missing out on the top-four last term, the north London outfit have acted relatively swiftly to agree a deal for Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus, while a possible move for Leeds United talisman Raphinha also appears to be heading in the right direction.
The captures of the Brazilian duo would undoubtedly steal the limelight, although the acquisition of another South American starlet in Martinez could prove just a vital, such is the 24-year-old’s quality and versatility.
Comfortable at centre-back, defensive midfield and at left-back, the £28.8m-rated machine would provide adequate cover and competition in a number of key areas, while also negating the need to sign further reinforcements.
Amid doubts over the future of Nuno Tavares, and with Kieran Tierney struggling to shake off persistent injuries, the £43k-per-week ace would perhaps be most useful on the left side of Arsenal’s defence, adding steel to a backline which shipped 48 goals last term, only the eighth-best record in the top flight.
In his most recent campaign in Amsterdam, the 5 foot 9 gem was a vital part of Erik ten Hag’s title-winning Ajax side, averaging 2.8 clearances, two tackles and 1.9 interceptions per game, while also recording an impressive 89% pass accuracy and keeping 11 clean sheets from his 24 Eredivisie outings.
With Champions League experience already under his belt, Martinez – who made the move to Ajax from his native Argentina in 2019 – could prove crucial in helping the Gunners try and secure a return to the competition next year.
That’s a thought which should certainly get Arsenal supporters buzzing…