Manchester United have been heavily linked with Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez in recent weeks, and the Argentine’s prospective move to Old Trafford could be getting closer.
After starring under Erik ten Hag at the Eredivisie giants, a move to Old Trafford was always likely to be on the cards this summer, and links have certainly intensified after it became clear that Jurrien Timber wanted to stay with the Amsterdam club.
Journalist Pete O’Rourke shared his views on Martinez’s situation in an interview with Football FanCast, suggesting that United are leading the race:
“Looking from the outside you think, they probably would have an advantage over Arsenal because of Erik ten Hag, who Martinez has previously worked with. You’d think that would work to their benefit to try and persuade Martinez to snub Arsenal and move to Manchester United instead.
“I’m sure both Manchester United and Arsenal would put lucrative offers on the table for the player if they try and sign him in this window.”
Given Martinez’s impressive form for Ajax in recent seasons, United fans will surely want him to be reunited with Ten Hag at Old Trafford.
The Argentina international, who is also capable of playing in defensive midfield, was one of Ajax’s star turns last season as they won the Eredivisie title, making 24 appearances in the Dutch top flight and averaging a superb 7.60 rating from WhoScored.
While some fans might have doubts about Martinez’s height as a centre-back, as he stands at just 5 foot 9, his ability in the air is one of his main strengths as a player, while the 3.3 aerial duels he won per game last season was more than both Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire.
Reports have suggested that United will have to pay £51m for the defender, who is also of interest to Arsenal. However, given his incredible form under Ten Hag previously, that could prove to be a bargain.
If Martinez can come in and steady United’s defence, which shipped 57 goals in the top flight last season, then he will surely prove to be an excellent signing, so fans must be delighted to hear that the Red Devils are seemingly in pole position for the 24-year-old.