Arsenal schedule fresh Ajax meeting even though Lisandro Martinez prefers Manchester United move
Arsenal will meet Ajax in the coming days to discuss a deal for Lisandro Martinez and are refusing to give up on the defender despite his preference being to join Manchester United.
The versatile Argentine looks increasingly likely to leave Amsterdam this summer despite the Eredivisie champions being desperate to keep hold of their Player of the Year.
Ajax have already lost several of their stars, with Ryan Gravenberch joining Bayern Munich and Sebastien Haller on the verge of a move to Borussia Dortmund.
They had been adamant they would not let anyone else leave unless they received an offer that was too good to turn down, and now both Arsenal and United are nearing that price tag for Martinez.
Ajax are believed to want around €50million (£43m) guaranteed, though so far United’s best offer has only reached £34m up front in addition to £4m in bonuses and add-ons.
Arsenal have also had several offers rebuffed, but The Athletic report that the Gunners’ hierarchy have scheduled a meeting with Ajax this week and are preparing to ramp up negotiations.
The north Londoners are still hopeful of agreeing a deal with both the club and the player and believe Martinez is open to joining them despite his links to Erik ten Hag.
Reports last week claimed the 24-year-old had ‘placed his hopes’ on being reunited with his former Ajax boss at Old Trafford, while he would have a more defined role under the Dutch coach.
Although Martinez is Arsenal’s top defensive target this summer, he is seen more as a high-quality utility player who would compete with Kieran Tierney for the left-back spot as well as providing cover and competition at centre-back and defensive midfield.
Martinez has told Ajax he would like to move to the Premier League this summer, while he feels there was a gentleman’s agreement when he signed his last contract that he would be allowed to join a big club if an offer materialised.
While Martinez would be open to a move to the Emirates – with personal terms not thought to be an issue at all – the chance to work under Ten Hag again is what appeals to him most.
The United manager is keen to bring in players who are used to his system and style of play, with the Red Devils also working on a deal to sign Ajax academy product Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona.
Martinez is viewed as having a completely different skillset and profile to United’s existing centre-back options, while, as with Arsenal, his ability to play in midfield or at left-back is also highly valued.
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