Manchester United ‘interested’ in rivalling Arsenal for Ajax player of the season Lisandro Martinez… with the Dutch champions demanding £30m for the versatile defender who Erik ten Hag praised as an ‘excellent player’
- Man United are reportedly keen on Ajax player of the season Lisandro Martinez
- Incoming United boss Erik ten Hag made Martinez a regular at the Dutch giants
- Arsenal are said to have spoken with Ajax about the £30m left-footed defender
- Ten Hag deployed Martinez as a centre-back, left-back and in midfield at Ajax
Manchester United are ready to rival Arsenal for Ajax player of the season Lisandro Martinez, according to a report.
Ajax want around £30million for Martinez, who was signed by Ten Hag from Argentinian side Defensa y Justicia in 2019 and has already been the subject of an unsuccessful £25million bid from the Gunners.
United are interested in Martinez but are not prioritising his position because of the number of centre-backs they currently have, Sky Sports News said.
Lisandro Martinez won player of the season at the end of Ajax’s triumphant 2021/22 campaign
Former Ajax manager Erik ten Hag is reportedly interested in signing Martinez for Man United
The outlet suggested that Ten Hag will not urgently seek new faces in central defence while Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones and Eric Bailly are all on the books at Old Trafford.
Known as ‘The Butcher of Amsterdam’, Martinez helped Ajax win the Eredivisie title last season as part of a miserly defence who conceded only 19 goals in 34 games.
The 24-year-old was used as a centre-back during the campaign but Ten Hag was impressed by his versatility when he played at full-back on both flanks and as a central midfielder following his arrival in Amsterdam.
Martinez signed a two-year extension to his Ajax contract in 2021, committing him until 2025 after he became the second Argentinian after Nicolas Tagliafico to reach 100 appearances for the club.
Martinez is a ball-playing central defender with the ability to play as a full-back or in midfield
An Argentina debutant in 2019, Martinez was part of the squad who won the Finalissima against Italy at Wembley earlier this month and played at centre-back for 62 minutes of his country’s subsequent 5-0 thrashing of Estonia.
After agreeing new terms at Ajax, Martinez said: ‘I’ve grown a lot here. I’ve become a much stronger and smarter player here, and more calm on the ball.’
Ten Hag, who officially takes over at United on July 1, predicted that Martinez would become a regular shortly after signing him to provide competition to Daley Blind, Tagliafico and Ryan Gravenberch.
Ten Hag said at the time: ‘I find Lisandro Martínez an excellent player. He is actually starting material and this is why I talk with him a lot.’