Football

Why Man Utd are set to back out of battle for ‘firm’ €50m Arsenal target


Manchester United could back out of the race with Arsenal to sign Lisandro Martinez from Ajax, according to reports.

Arsenal are said to be ready to pay €30m (£25.8m) for the versatile defender, with the Dutch side setting a price tag of €50m (£43m) in an attempt to ward them off, as they are keen to retain his services for another season.


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United have also been linked with Martinez, who thrived under new Old Trafford boss Erik ten Hag for the Eredivise side.

The Athletic’s David Ornstein confirmed Mikel Arteta’s interest in the 24-year-old, before explaining that United are concerned by the player’s height.

“Lisandro Martinez is a firm target for Arsenal for the left centre-back role and he can also operate at left-back in the mind of Arsenal,” Ornstein told HaytersTV (via Metro).

“He’s a player that Mikel Arteta wants to sign. Arsenal have had an approach worth around €30m rejected by Ajax, that interest will not drop.

“The question is who else is interested in him? Of course, he’s played for Erik ten Hag in the past, and there are reports Erik ten Hag would like to bring him to United now.

“The problem is that Manchester United are focusing on Frenkie de Jong and Christian Eriksen, there may also be concerns if Lisandro Martinez is tall enough for the left centre-back role because I don’t know of Manchester United looking to do what Arsenal would like, which is to use him at left-back as well.

“As things stand, I think Arsenal is the most probable destination for Lisandro Martinez, who is said to be keen on a move but this could have twists and turns with a number of clubs admiring such a good player.”

Meanwhile, former United first-team coach Rene Meulensteen is concerned at the lack of transfer activity at Old Traford and has warned Erik ten Hag over his “massive step up”.

“It is a bit of a worry. If you look how Liverpool and City have done their business with Darwin Nunez and Erling Haaland, they have strengthened.

“United have far more work to do than that. It is a massive step up [for Ten Hag]. He needs to get the dressing room buying into his ideas and way of work, because there are some issues there over the last season or so.

“He needs to sort that out and hit the ground running. You want players to come through the door and you want to get fans excited. I think the messaging from him through the media has to be important.

“They are just sliding and sliding and if I don’t see really quality coming through the door. If Ten Hag has a similar squad to last year with the players who are left, then it will be a big, big challenge.”





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