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Man Utd close in on Ajax star Lisandro Martinez

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Manchester United have reached an agreement in principal with Ajax to sign Lisandro Martinez and the left-back has also agreed personal terms over the move to Old Trafford, according to reports.

New United boss Erik ten Hag has been in the market for a new centre-back this summer and Martinez was identified as his prime target. Arsenal were also linked with the South American but ten Hag’s close relationship with the player proved pivotal having spent three years together at Ajax.

Manchester United have been locked in negotiations with the Dutch champions for some time and Fabrizio Romano says there was a breakthrough on Wednesday following ‘successful’ talks in Amsterdam.

Writing in the Guardian, Romano claims that an agreement has been reached in principal that United will pay £42m plus add-ons for Martinez – although the structure of the payments is still to be ironed out.

Once that issue is resolved, the deal should be quickly wrapped-up as Romano says personal terms with the 24-year-old are “100% agreed”. Martinez was asked to train away from the rest of the Ajax squad on Thursday with his move to United now imminent.

The Argentinean international is now expected to become ten Hag’s second signing of the summer following the arrival of left-back Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord earlier this month.

Our View

Last season, United’s defence was chaotic, to say the least. Harry Maguire was out of form and Raphael Varane lacked rhythm due to recurrent injuries. A new centre-back is needed and Martinez could be the ideal fit.

We could see in United’s game against Liverpool on Tuesday the ideology that ten Hag is looking to implement. He wants United to play an expansive and attacking brand of football. In other words, EtH’s plan is based on possession.

Martinez is a technical defender who tackles with precision. He is not the tallest but that does not mean he is easy to deal with. He is an excellent reader of the game and is rarely caught off guard. The 24-year-old is also an adept ball-playing defender so should fit into ten Hag’s system well.

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