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Arsenal and Manchester United have been told to cough up £42 million for Lisandro Martinez, report The Mirror.
The Gunners have been intently pursuing the Argentine international in the transfer window, as part of their new aggressive transfer strategy.
Technical director Edu has been spearheading this new approach, and has already seen a €30 million bid rejected from Ajax for their star defender.
However, despite that rejection Arsenal have shown little sign of relenting in their pursuit of the man nicknamed “The Butcher”.
Intermediaries acting on Martinez’s behalf reportedly met with both Arsenal and United representatives this week in London, in an attempt to accelerate a potential move.
Martinez made 36 appearances in all competitions for de Godenzonen last season, tallying 2,909 minutes in the process.
Ajax are keen to retain the services of the Argentine, with the 24-year-old winning the club's Player of the Season award last time out.
A move for the Gualeguay-born man may well depend on the future of Nuno Tavares, who has been linked with a move away from the Emirates.
Both Atlanta and Marseille are reportedly interested in the Portuguese youngster, who had a turbulent first season in London.
With Martinez’s versatility to play centre-back, left-back and defensive midfield, letting Tavares go would still leave Kieran Tierney with adequate cover.
Tierney is reportedly closing in on a return to training, but his injury problems in recent seasons have often been problematic.
Arsenal lost five of the final 10 games of the last campaign in Tierney's absence, missing out on the Champions League as a result.
The addition of Martinez would ensure that losing Tierney isn't such a blow for Mikel Arteta's side this time around.
If it frees up Tavares to go and develop his game on loan, that's just another benefit.
With Arsenal negotiating multiple deals at the moment, including those of Gabriel Jesus and Raphinha, a move for the Argentine may not be an immediate priority for the Gunners.
Nonetheless, the interest in Martinez is genuine.
According to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, the Gunners plan to “strongly push” for the Ajax star.
If Arsenal were to secure his services, they would be blessed with defensive options through the centre of the pitch.
The returning William Saliba seems poised to sign a new contract, on top of the existing duo of Gabriel and White, Arteta’s defensive options for the coming season looks set to be formidable.
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