Pre-season is officially underway at Manchester United and Erik ten Hag, who signed a three-year contract earlier this year, has already overseen his first couple of training sessions.
Roughly half of the senior members of Ten Hag’s squad are still on vacation and no signings have been added to the group yet but according to reports, Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez is on the Dutchman’s wishlist.
Premier League rivals Arsenal are also in the race to sign the Argentine centre-back, with a fresh update claiming that the London club are looking to move quickly as they bid to avoid being hijacked.
That’s according to The Telegraph, who say that after having an initial bid rejected, they have returned to the Amsterdam club with an improved offer, believed to be around £35m, rising to £40m with add-ons.
As per the report, Arsenal have identified the 24-year-old as their prime defensive target but are expecting competition from United, with Ten Hag also keen on bringing him to the Premier League.
It’s claimed that the feeling in Holland is that Arsenal are hoping to complete a deal for Martinez quickly as United conclude deals for Frenkie de Jong and Tyrell Malacia.
Thus far, there has been no indication that United have tabled an official bid for Martinez and considering how advanced Arsenal are in their pursuit, it would seem that Mikel Arteta’s side are favourites to secure his signature.
Martinez is a versatile defender, who has often been deployed as a left-sided centre-back under Ten Hag. Currently, United are without a left-footed centre-back.
With the majority of United’s transfer kitty being spent on De Jong, it has been reported that defensive outgoings are needed before reinforcements can be made.