Manchester United Preparing Offer For Erik Ten Hag's Former Ajax Star
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Manchester United are preparing to make an offer for Ajax's Lisandro Martinez to bolster their defence.
United have been linked with their fair share of Ajax players since Erik ten Hag's arrival at the club, for obvious reasons. While a number of these names are linked loosely without much ground, there's a few who can be safely pointed towards as actual targets.
Lisandro Martinez is one among them. The versatile Ajax player has been mentioned for some time as a player United have been looking at.
Mike McGrath of Telegraph Sport reported about a month ago that Lisandro Martinez had been added to United's list of targets - and was seen as an ideal player for Erik ten Hag's one-v-one defensive tactics.
The report further mentioned that Martinez was seen by the manager as one of the key reasons to his success at Ajax.
James Ducker of Telegraph Sport also added on to this, mentioning Lisandro Martinez as one of the players the club were interested in - but he also went on to state that midfield and attack were seen as bigger priorities with respect to strengthening the team via the transfer market.
As it turns out, reliable Dutch reporter Mike Verweij, while writing for De Telegraaf, reports that Manchester United are preparing an offer for Martinez.
It would be pertinent to mention that Arsenal have recently been credited with a concrete interest in the player. The Athletic reported that they had an offer in the region of €30m rejected by Ajax.
As relayed by SportWitness, Verweij provides more context on those particular claims by stating that Arsenal did inform Ajax that they were willing to offer €30m for Lisandro Martinez, but didn't place an official offer as Ajax refused to let him leave.
Verweij also states that if United dig much deeper then the €30m Arsenal had offered - they would put Ajax in a position to make a decision on whether they'd like to sell the player. He goes on to mention that Ajax will only sell Martinez if they are offered an amount they cannot refuse.
United's interest in the player seems to be well established.
However, as mentioned by Marcel van der Kraan on De Telegraaf, Erik ten Hag wants United to sign Frenkie de Jong and Christian Eriksen as a priority.
United have been said to be discussing internally about submitting a new proposal for Frenkie de Jong in the next few days by Fabrizio Romano.
They have also reportedly offered a one-year deal with the option of an additional year to Christian Eriksen as per Simon Mullock of Mirror Sport.
One would think the results of these pursuits, along with the speed of their potential outcomes, would influence how serious United get regarding prising Lisandro Martinez away from Ajax and how soon they end up doing it.
This is especially relevant given Rob Draper of Mail Sport reported that Erik ten Hag wants other targets to be signed off only after a deal for Frenkie de Jong is confirmed.
He doesn't want to be in a position where United don't have enough money to meet Barcelona's valuation for the player, and hence would look to decide which players he needs with the remainder of the budget afterwards.
So while it's very plausible that United are interested to a good degree in Lisandro Martinez, there seem to be a number of other factors which would potentially contribute to the move becoming a reality or even reaching a more concrete stage.