Manchester United ‘might have to get involved’ in the race for Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez, according to journalist Dean Jones.
The 24-year-old could find himself at the centre of a bidding war between the Red Devils and their Premier League rivals Arsenal, who have reportedly already seen a proposal turned down for him.
What is the latest news involving Martinez?
Speaking on a recent instalment of his Here We Go podcast, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano revealed that the Gunners and United are both interested in Martinez.
“Lisandro Martinez is a target for Arsenal,” confirmed the reliable reporter. “They made a verbal proposal, not an official proposal. €30 million (£25.7m) and Ajax said no. They want way more than this.
“It’s true that Manchester United are interested in Lisandro Martinez. It’s true that Erik Ten Hag mentioned his name to the board.”
Romano went on to say that the Old Trafford outfit have not yet made a bid of their own, while Arsenal are also waiting to make a renewed approach.
However, with the exits of Ryan Gravenberch, Andre Onana and Noussair Mazraoui already confirmed and Sebastien Haller and Antony potentially following, it remains to be seen if the Dutch giants are willing to part ways with another first-team star.
What has Jones said about Martinez?
In an interview with GiveMeSport, Jones said: “He was linked before Jurrien Timber, I think, that’s when this all began, all the Ajax links.
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“But Ajax aren’t going to let their entire team suddenly leave, and with them potentially losing two high-profile players elsewhere, they’re not really going to want to help Manchester United out.
“So, Lisandro Martinez, I think if he’s genuinely available, then Man United might have to get involved in that, but I’m still waiting to see whether he does become available. And if so, at what price because Ajax will just push the value up.”
Would Martinez be a good signing?
Martinez has been a vital part of Ajax’s success since his arrival back in July 2019, registering 12 goal contributions in 118 appearances, claiming two Eredivisie titles and one Dutch Cup along the way, with Ten Hag labelling him “excellent”.
The versatile ace is capable of playing at left-back and at the base of midfield as well as his preferred centre-back role, and at just 5 foot 9, has to rely on his technical ability and tactical intelligence.
As per FBref, the Argentina international has ranked in the top one percent for tackles, progressive passes and shot-creating actions amongst his positional peers over the last 12 months.
Martinez is also in the 96th percentile for progressive carries and the 85th for expected assists, indicating that United will be acquiring an elite-level centre-back when in possession and when tasked with dispossessing opponents if they manage to reunite him with Ten Hag.
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