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Manchester United 'on verge of completing Lisandro Martinez deal'

Man United 'on verge of completing Lisandro Martinez deal'
© Reuters
Manchester United win the race for Ajax centre-back Lisandro Martinez, according to a report.

Manchester United have reportedly won the race for Lisandro Martinez, with the Ajax defender set to move to the 20-time English champions in the near future.

The 24-year-old's future has been the subject of much speculation in recent weeks, with Arsenal and Man United both believed to be keen to bring him to the Premier League this summer.

A recent report claimed that new Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag, who managed Martinez at Ajax, was confident of convincing the Argentina international to snub the Gunners to move to Old Trafford.

According to Italian journalist Rudy Galetti, the 20-time English champions are now closing in on the centre-back's signature, with only the 'final paperwork' needing to be done.

Galetti claims that a switch to Manchester is 'only a matter of time', with Martinez set to follow Tyrell Malacia and Christian Eriksen in making the move to the club this summer.

Lisandro Martinez warms up for Ajax on December 9, 2020© Reuters

Martinez was a vital player for his Dutch club last season, scoring once and providing four assists in 36 appearances in all competitions, playing a leading role in their league title triumph.

Meanwhile, he has played 120 times for Ajax since arriving in Amsterdam from Defensa y Justicia in 2019, helping the club win back-to-back league titles and the KNVB Cup in 2021.

Man United allegedly recently made a £39.6m offer for Martinez, with Ajax receiving £35.3m up front under the proposed agreement, with a further £4.3m in guaranteed add-ons, although it is unclear whether that is the price that has been agreed between the two clubs.

"Martinez is very high on Erik ten Hag's wishlist, so I expect big developments in the 24 or 48 hours," Dutch journalist Marcel van der Kraan recently told De Telegraaf. "Martinez will also have his hopes pinned on United, who are an absolute top club for him.

"Ajax will really cash out for Martinez and go to €45m (£38.7m)-€50m (£43m), but that is the advantage if two clubs bid, as we saw with Lyon and Manchester United, then it suddenly goes higher."

Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag on May 22, 2022© Reuters

Martinez has played as a holding midfielder and a left-back during his professional career, but it is understood that he is being targeted by Man United as a centre-back.

Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof are all expected to remain at Old Trafford this summer, but Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe could leave before the end of the transfer window.

Malacia's signature has now been secured, with Eriksen expected to follow in the near future, but a deal for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong has seemingly stalled.

"Frenkie is not for sale. He is a Barcelona player. We don't want to transfer him," said Barcelona president Joan Laporta at the unveiling of Franck Kessie on Wednesday afternoon.

Man United are due to travel to Thailand on Friday for the start of their pre-season tour, but it is unclear whether unsettled forward Cristiano Ronaldo will be on the plane, with the Portugal international not returning to training this week due to a personal matter.

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Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez in action for Argentina in February 2022
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