Erik ten Hag is doing ‘all he can’ to rejoin with Lisandro Martinez at Manchester United, who have outbid Arsenal by £39.6 million for the Ajax center-back.
Lisandro Martinez’s affection for Erik ten Hag is well known, as the former Ajax manager seeks a reunion at Manchester United.
The 24-year-old spent three seasons in Amsterdam under the new Red Devils manager and will get the opportunity to reunite with Ten Hag in Manchester if Ajax’s asking price is met. United have increased their bid for the Ajax defender to £39.6 million.
Martinez was expected to join Arsenal before the Gunners’ initial approach was rejected, but United have immediately jumped in as they attempt to add defensive reinforcements of their own, with Ten Hag looking for a new center-back alternative at Old Trafford.
Martinez clearly wants to work with the Dutch strategist again, especially after sending a poignant note following Ten Hag’s departure in May.
“Hello Erik, “I want to thank everyone,” the seven-time Argentina international said in an emotional video with Ajax legends past and present. “I learned a lot about football from you.” You helped me improve as a player. You walk away like a champion. You’ve earned it.”
Martinez is determined to make his Premier League dream come true this summer, believing that his progress in the Eredivisie has come to an end. Ten Hag is understood to be doing ‘all he can’ to acquire his signature before the Red Devils go for their pre-season tour on July 8.
While Arsenal kicked off the auction with a £34m bid, Ajax is holding out for a fee in the area of £43m, with technical director Gerry Hamstra and right-hand man Klaas-Jan Huntelaar eager to keep the 2021 Copa America champion for another season.
But Martinez’s desire is evident, and Ajax rarely stands in the way of a player’s desire to leave – for the proper money, of course. The United target’s ability to play at center-back, left-back, and as a holding midfielder would be extremely advantageous to Ten Hag’s defensive setup.
Martinez’s new manager at Old Trafford is a great supporter, complimenting the former Newell’s Old Boys prodigy during a period when his minutes were cut in 2021, the same year he signed a four-year contract deal.
“The competition at Ajax is fierce, so certain players must be patient,” Ten Hag remarked to Voetbal International. “It’s true that someone like Lisandro Martinez plays less this season than last, but I’m happy with him.”
“He can play left-back, a central defender on the left, and controlling midfielder on the left.” He has strong technique, ball awareness, and dueling power, but he lacks walking ability, for example.”