Man Utd ‘preparing offer’ for defender and will ‘dig much deeper’ than Arsenal

Manchester United are ready to make an offer for Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez as they compete with Arsenal for his signature, according to reports.

Martinez joined Ajax from Defensa y Justicia in 2019 and has impressed during his 120 appearances for the Dutch club, winning two Eredivisie titles and a Dutch Cup.

The former Newell’s Old Boys defender has seven caps for Argentina and plays primarily as a centre-back, although he is also adept at left-back and central midfield.

Martinez has impressed enough during his 39 appearances in all competitions this season to attract interest from a number of top clubs around Europe.

Premier League sides Man Utd and Arsenal have both taken a particular interest in the Argentinian and now they face a battle to sign him this summer.

Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf claims that the Gunners have told Ajax that they are willing to pay €30m for Martinez after asking if he is available for sale.

It is understood that Arsenal backed off after they were informed he would be staying at the Eredivisie champions – but now Man Utd are ‘preparing an offer for the player’.

De Telegraaf adds that the Red Devils are planning to ‘dig much deeper’ than Arsenal with Man Utd needing to make an offer that Ajax can’t refuse.

Meanwhile, talkSPORT pundit Tony Cascarino has picked out five players new Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag should sign this summer, including Martinez.

“Erik ten Hag should focus on bringing in players who are already proven this summer, rather than obsessing over potential,” Cascarino told The Times.

“The best example of that is Harry Kane – a striker who would be a typical United signing.

“Signing Kane depends on whether Tottenham Hotspur fail to make the top four, but United should at least try for the England captain.

“With Erling Haaland seemingly set for Manchester City, Kane’s options if he wants to leave Tottenham are limited.

“Kane could provide the kind of lift that Robin van Persie did when he moved to United from Arsenal in 2012 and helped them win the Premier League in Sir Alex Ferguson’s last season in charge.

“Other proven top-flight players I would target are Kalvin Phillips at Leeds United and Yves Bissouma at Brighton, either of whom could slot into United’s midfield.

“Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha would also be a clever signing for United.

“I know it didn’t go according to plan for him during his first spell at Old Trafford but he has matured since leaving and has been playing at a high level for years now – he could provide competition to Jadon Sancho and shouldn’t have any problems with Ten Hag’s system as the Dutchman trusts his wingers.

“Ten Hag may also look at poaching Lisandro Martinez from Ajax. The Argentina defender is composed on the ball and has been an ever-present for Ten Hag’s Ajax side this season.”