Manchester United’s negotiations for Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez have reportedly reached “key stages” in the ongoing summer window.
Ajax have demanded around $60 million for 24-year-old Martinez, Sports Mole reported.
After turning down Manchester United’s opening bid for Martinez, Ajax have now agreed to sell the Argentinean defender under its own conditions. The Amsterdam-based club has decided so since the player is also pushing for a move to the Premier League, according to Fabrizio Romano, who has a credible record in the European transfer market. The two clubs are expected to meet Wednesday regarding Martinez’s transfer.
Apart from Manchester United, another Premier League club, Arsenal, have shown interest in Martinez but have been unable to reach a fee with Ajax. However, the interest from the Emirates side has cooled off even though Mikel Arteta and Co have not formally withdrawn from the race to land Martinez, according to Goal.com.
It is understood that between Manchester United and Arsenal, the former were always going to have the upper hand in Martinez’s transfer considering the player’s relationship with the Red Devils’ new boss Erik ten Hag, who was Martinez’s manager at Ajax.
Along with Martinez, Manchester United are also after Ajax forward Antony as ten Hag has been pushing the club to secure deals for the Ajax duo, according to The Times.
It was reported earlier that Ajax also rejected Manchester United’s opening bid for Antony. The Old Trafford side approached Ajax with a $61 million offer for Antony, but the Eredivisie champions wanted at least $81 million.
In addition, Ajax have been waiting to finalize replacements for Antony and Martinez before agreeing to transfer deals for the pair, The Times report further claimed.
Manchester United have not won a trophy since the 2016-17 campaign. They even failed to finish in the top four of the Premier League last season, meaning they have been dropped to Europa League, the second-tier European competition. Ten Hag has a massive task ahead of his maiden season in charge of the Red Devils. However, he began his stint with a superb 4-0 win over arch-rivals Liverpool in a pre-season game in Bangkok Tuesday.