Arsenal have submitted an improved offer to sign Ajax centre-back Lisandro Martinez in an attempt to beat Manchester United to his signature this summer. The Gunners are vying to wrap up their priority centre-back transfer target before United turn their attention towards bolstering Erik ten Hag’s defence.
According to Mike Verweij, Arsenal have made a second, improved bid worth £34million (€40m), including bonuses, for Martinez. However, Ajax look set to turn the Premier League outfit away again because they’re holding out for a guaranteed £41m (€50m) to sanction his sale.
The transfer offer is a signal of Mikel Arteta’s intent to strengthen his defence with Martinez in the summer transfer window. But while it’s an upgrade on the £26m (€30m) Arsenal bid the first time, Ajax are not yet budging on one of their most prized assets.
The 24-year-old’s versatility will undoubtedly appeal to Arteta – capable of playing as a left-back and defensive midfielder. With Nuno Tavares in talks over a loan move away from the Emirates Stadium, he would be battling for a starting berth in central defence while providing cover for Kieran Tierney on the left.
Erik ten Hag has also made Martinez his primary defensive target after Jurrien Timber snubbed a potential switch in favour of guaranteed game time ahead of the 2022 World Cup. However, United are yet to make an official approach for the Argentine and are unlikely to until they seal a deal for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
The Red Devils could also come to a crossroads when they eventually launch their pursuit, considering Ten Hag wants to reunite with Brazilian winger Antony at Old Trafford as well. Ajax will unlikely allow both players to depart after already losing Ryan Gravenberch and Sebastien Haller.