Manchester United have completed the £55million move of Lisandro Martinez from Ajax to continue their summer rebuild under Erik ten Hag.
Ten Hag had targeted a new centre-back in this transfer window and worked with the Argentina international in his previous three seasons at Ajax.
United and Ajax quickly came to an agreement over the £55m fee earlier in July and Martinez has signed a five-year deal worth £120,000 a week with an option for an extra year.
United will pay an initial £46.8m plus £8.5m in add-ons, making Martinez the second most expensive defender in the club’s history after Harry Maguire.
A club statement from United read: ‘Manchester United is delighted to announce the club has reached agreement with Ajax for the transfer of Argentine international defender Lisandro Martinez, subject to medical, to player terms being finalised, and to UK visa requirements.’
Martinez’s announcement comes after the defender was spotted arriving at the club’s Carrington training ground on Tuesday, having been driven in by fellow summer signing Christian Eriksen in a 4×4 Audi.
The previous evening, Martinez had also been spotted in Manchester City centre at the Italian restaurant Don Giovanni along with his girlfriend Muri Lopez and has been staying at the nearby five-star Lowry Hotel.
Martinez is the club’s third summer signing, following the capture of left-back Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord earlier in July, while playmaker Christian Eriksen arrived from Brentford following the expiry of his six-month deal.
Ten Hag will hope Martinez can help improve a defence that, with 57 goals, conceded the second most inside the top 10 of the Premier League last season.
The 24-year-old arrives with huge promise of helping United get back to winning ways following a torrid campaign from the Red Devils last term where they scraped to sixth place and a Europa League spot under interim manager Ralf Rangnick following the early season sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskajer.
Last season Martinez won Ajax’s Player of the Year award and could be expected to feature as first choice alongside club captain Maguire this term.
The move for Martinez comes after Ten Hag missed out on signing another Ajax star in Jurrien Timber, who opted to stay with the Dutch champions to strengthen his chances of securing playing time ahead of Holland’s World Cup campaign in Qatar this winter.
Ten Hag has also suffered another transfer blow, with Ajax fighting to keep hold of Antony.
Ajax have dramatically upped their asking price for the in-demand winger in a bid to stave off interest from United.
Ten Hag is interested in bringing the Brazilian star to Old Trafford this summer but the Dutch side have raised their fee demand from £68m to £84m to underline he is not for sale.
Arsenal had also been interested in Martinez but United acted quickly to nail down the defender, who can also play in midfield, once his interest in playing in the Premier League became known.
Although United are not short of centre-backs, Martinez’s left-footed style makes him unique to a pool of defenders that also include Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof and Maguire.