Manchester United are reportedly leading the race to sign Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez in the 2022 summer window.
Center-back Martinez is contracted with Ajax until 2025. Manchester United are preparing a $48 million bid for the Argentina national, reported takSport. The report further claimed that Manchester United’s new boss worked with Martinez at Ajax and now wants to reunite with the defender at Old Trafford.
Arsenal have already submitted an offer for Martinez, who is admired by Gunners boss Mikel Arteta, according to CaughtoffSide. They are now waiting for Ajax to respond to their bid for the Argentine defender.
Martinez, who moved from Argentine club Defensa y Justicia to Ajax in the summer of 2019, has made 120 appearances in all competitions for the Eredivise champions, showing his versatility by playing in four different positions, including in the midfield and on the left side of the defense, even though he is predominantly a center-back.
Erik ten Hag and Martinez won back-to-back titles together at the Dutch club. A couple of years ago, then-Ajax boss ten Hag had opened up on the versatile defender, highlighting his ability to play in various positions when there were rumors about left-back Nicolas Tagliafico nearly leaving the Amsterdam-based club.
“In preparation, I will try Lisandro Martínez in that position. He has also played in midfield for us, but he is a defender,” ten Hag had said, according to the talkSport report.
Considering the poor form of the likes of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof, while even Raphael Varane was unconvincing and struggled to stay fit for most of last season, one could expect Martinez to walk straight into Manchester United’s starting XI under ten Hag in the upcoming campaign.
Meanwhile, Manchester United are also preparing to sign a few more players as ten Hag aims to bolster the side for the new term. He has a huge task on his hands because the Old Trafford side has not won a single trophy since their 2016-17 Europa League success.
One of ten Hag’s top priority signings this summer is FC Barcelona midfielder, Frenkie de Jong. It has been reported that the Red Devils are close to securing him and are expected to unveil the Dutchman this weekend.