Dutch journalist expects Man Utd to make Martinez bid
Speaking to De Telegraaf, Dutch journalist Marcel van der Kraan has backed Manchester United to make a formal move for Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez.
The Red Devils are still to announce their first signing of the summer transfer window, but they are close to finalising moves for Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong and Feyenoord’s Tyrell Malacia.
Martinez is another player that has been linked with United in recent days, and Van de Kraan has acknowledged that the Argentine is ‘very high on Erik ten Hag’s wishlist’ this summer.
Arsenal have made multiple bids for the versatile defender, but Kraan expects ‘big developments’ from United’s end. The reputed journalist believes the 24-year-old will have ‘his hopes pinned on United’.
He said: “Martinez is very high on Erik ten Hag’s wishlist, so I expect big developments in the 24 or 48 hours. Martinez will also have his hopes pinned on United, who are an absolute top club for him.”
“Ajax will really cash out for Martinez and go to €45-50m (£39-43m), but that is the advantage if two clubs bid, as we saw with Lyon and Manchester United, then it suddenly goes higher.”
Arsenal have been active in the pursuit of Martinez in recent weeks, but Ajax have yet to respond to their latest offer of £34.5m plus £4.5m in add-ons for their Player of the Year.
The Dutch champions could be eyeing a fixed fee for their prized asset and it remains to be seen whether Martinez would join the north London club if they meet the valuation.
Ten Hag managed Martinez for three seasons at the Amsterdam outfit. In the recent campaign, he was in exceptional form defensively, excelling in almost every attribute.
He registered a stunning two tackles, 1.9 interceptions and 2.8 clearances per league game while winning six ground and aerial duels. He completed 89 per cent of his passes.
The Gunners consider him as a potential competitor to Kieran Tierney for the left-back position while he could also operate as a back-up option to Gabriel Magalhaes in central defence.
If he were to join United, he could be assured a regular start at the heart of the backline. The chance to play in his dominant position and reunite with Ten Hag could be hard to decline.
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