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Ajax hopeful of bidding war as Dutch champions set versatile defender’s price tag

Ajax know that Premier League duo Manchester United and Arsenal are circling around defender Lisandro Martinez.

The Amsterdam club will be wary of seeing all of their best talents poached away during this summer’s transfer window, but eager to strike the very best deals possible, at least where Martinez is concerned anyway, according to the Daily Mail, the Dutch champions are hopeful of a bidding war breaking out between Erik ten Hag’s Red Devils and Mikel Arteta’s Gunners.

The fee the Europeans are believed to be holding out for in exchange for Martinez is £43m – no club has yet to offer that.

However, both United and Arsenal have a long-standing interest in the South American defender, who is so versatile he can play at centre-back, or as a defensive midfielder, but only one side can win the race for his signature.

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Targeting Martinez as his next primary target (The Times), ten Hag is likely to be in the driving seat due to his already established connection with the Argentine following three years working together at the Johan Cruijff Arena.

The United-faithful will certainly be confident their new manager can help prise the highly-rated 24-year-old away from Holland. There isn’t much to separate United and Arsenal – they’re both about as financially capable and they’re both in next season’s Europa League so it is going to come down to which project Martinez believes in more, and that is where ten Hag’s influence and track-record could prove invaluable.

Since joining Ajax from South American side Defensa back in 2019, Martinez, who has three years left on his deal, has gone on to feature in 118 matches, in all competitions, directly contributing to 12 goals along the way.

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