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Manchester United Favourites to Sign Martinez After Launching Opening Bid

Manchester United Favourites to Sign Martinez After Launching Opening Bid

Manchester United have submitted an opening bid to Ajax for Lisandro Martinez after Arsenal have had a similar offer rejected.

Manchester United have submitted an opening bid to Ajax for the services of Lisandro Martinez, despite seeing rivals Arsenal have a similar offer turned down by the Dutch champions, according to latest reports. 

Friday saw multiple stories regarding the Argentinian utility man surface, with most suggesting that United now look to be in pole position to deliver Erik ten Hag another one of his top targets — following the reported acquisition of defender Tyrell Malacia. 

ESPN’s Rob Dawson initially revealed that United are ready to pounce on a Martinez deal after the Gunners had two bids of their own rejected by Ajax. United boast a good relationship with the Dutch side and may be able to find a compromise on the fee. 

Per Daily Mail’s Sami Mokbel, Ajax are seeking out for around £43 million in total for Martinez, who is known to be comfortable as a central defensive midfielder, centre back and left-back. 

An asset like that was always going to command a sizable fee. But with United being just £8.5 million away from Ajax’s reported valuation, with a reported bid of £34.5m, the said compromise may not be too far away and an insertion of add-ons could do the trick.


This report is in line with Dutch journalist Mike Verweij's report, who on Saturday morning has said that United's first offer for the player is around £35m, but he adds that £3.4m of add-ons have been put on the table as well. Although, he admits that it is expected for Ajax to reject this opening offer.

Samuel Luckhurst of the MEN also says that an offer has gone in, making the previous reports hold even more weight.

He says that the offer lays at £37m, but does not confirm whether this includes add-ons. If it does, then it would be more in line with the aforementioned reports.

However, Simon Mullock has reported a slightly higher fee that the Reds have locked in. He says that United have bid £39.6m for the Ajax player. This is said to include £4.3m in add-ons.

This would be in line with previous reports from Alex Crook, who mentioned that a £40m bid was going to go in.

Whichever reports are more accurate, it is clear that the Reds board seem to be experimenting a newfound market strategy this summer. First, they assess the main targets and then, let other clubs launch bids for them.

In the meantime, United continue to keep tabs and then enter the conversation once knowing exactly how much it may take to finalize a deal. 

United did just that with Malacia. French outfit Olympique Lyon were all but certain that the Dutch full back would be joining them but United were alert and hijacked the deal even after Fabrizio Romano’s famous “Here We Go”. 

The situation with Martinez looks to be similar. It is no secret that the Argentine is high on Ten Hag’s wish list and United look adamant to deliver the new manager’s top targets — going about it in very shrewd fashion, this time at the expense of historic rivals. 

Arsenal have also had an appetite for Martinez all summer but are seemingly not willing to dance to the tune that Ajax have been playing them. This may also be a result of Martinez being more interested in a move to the red side of Manchester, according to David Ornstein. 

 Ornstein tweeted that after submitting a bid in a similar region to that of Arsenal’s, United now look to be favourites to sign Martinez — “with the player said to be more interested in a United switch” and a reunion with his former boss who got the best out of him last season. 

Advanced negotiations are currently ongoing and United will undoubtedly be keen to have Martinez on board before jetting off on the pre-season tour next week. 

The signing of the 24-year-old could be crucial for the Reds for many reasons.

For one, he brings immense versatility and could fill multiple holes. Although not the tallest, ten Hag effectively utilized him as a central defender for the better part of Ajax’s title winning campaign last season. But Martinez is also very capable in midfield and out on the left side of the back line.

The former may end up being of the biggest interest to the Old Trafford side, as they would love to pair the reportedly imminent arrival of Frenkie de Jong with a ball playing defensive midfielder — an understaffed position that has cause the Reds mighty problems in the recent past. 

Secondly, free agent Christian Eriksen is said to be monitoring United’s transfer activities very closely. The Danish playmaker has been highly sought after this summer and has offers from United and Brentford — who gave him a chance to return to football after a horror accident — on the table, but is waiting to see on how ten Hag bolsters his squad before making a decision. 

Rather uncharacteristically, if we look at recent years, United’s strategy in the transfer market seems to be very structured this summer — with a number of moving pieces in play, waiting for each other to fall into place. 

Initially, it was about getting close to securing the services of De Jong before other deals could be triggered. Now, with Malacia on board and Martinez moving closer, Eriksen could follow very quickly thereafter, leaving United with well over a month to address other needs in the squad, however the new boss sees fit. 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Manchester United, Manchester United Transfer News & Rumours, Transfers, Lisandro Martinez, Arsenal, Premier League, Ajax, Eredivisie, Football