Manchester United are eyeing a swoop for Ajax centre-back Lisandro Martinez as they aim to reinforce the defence and reunite the player with manager Erik ten Hag.
According to The Mirror, United have met with the representatives of Martinez and were told that £42m would be what’s needed to secure his services.
They face competition for his signature from fellow Premier League club Arsenal who also met with his agent. The Gunners recently had a £25m enquiry for the player turned down with United planning a bid of £30m.
The report said that the player wants to move to the England but fears the asking price could put suitors off.
If United are to improve on last season then recruiting defensively is a must. The Red Devils conceded more goals than they ever have done in a single league season (57) and ended with a goal difference of 0.
Their defenders came under a lot of media scrutiny last season and rightly so, new manager Ten Hag needs to reinforce the backline if they are to have any chance of qualifying for the Champions League.
Signing Martinez could help solve the problem, he is a talented defender who has been described as a “bulldog” by journalist Casey Evans and his statistics seem to back that claim up.
He has won 69% of his total duels in the Eredivisie last season which shows his aggressive nature and ability to win his battles. It’s this willingness to fight that United have lacked recently and if signed maybe he could influence others.
It’s not the only area where he excels, he has a passing accuracy of 92% in his own half and made 0 errors leading to a shot or goal last season. This proves his reliability and composure when playing out from the back.
Above all else, Ten Hag was his coach last season, so he wouldn’t need time to adapt to his methods and could slot straight into the back line at United.
The competition would also likely bring the best out of current defenders Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof.
While Ajax might be asking for a high fee, he’s currently paid just £43k-per-week so United could save money on wages.
If it means securing him ahead of their rivals, we think United should pay the money they’re asking for.