Ajax increase asking price for top Man Utd, Arsenal target but rule out add-on payments

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Man Utd target Lisandro Martinez poses with a trophy Credit: PA Images
Man Utd target Lisandro Martinez poses with a trophy Credit: PA Images

Man Utd and Arsenal will have to pay £52million if they want to sign Lisandro Martinez from Ajax this summer, according to reports.

The Argentina international was in great form last season as Ajax won the Eredivisie title, making 37 appearances in all competitions for the Dutch giants.

And he has been attracting interest from a number of clubs this summer with Man Utd and Arsenal believed to have the most serious interest in the centre-back.

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Reports have claimed Man Utd have already offered €50m (£42m) for Martinez this summer but De Telegraaf (via The Metro) now claim that Ajax now want £52m upfront for Martinez.

It also claimed that the Dutch club won’t listen to offers that include add-ons as they look to squeeze the maximum value out of their asset.

Former Man Utd defender Jaap Stam thinks the Red Devils will be buying a true professional if they a deal for Martinez over the line.

“Whether Martinez is worth €50m, that is difficult to say. This kind of money has become normal. Especially in England,” Stam told Algemeen Dagblad.

“I have become a fan of his. I think he’s a fantastic guy, with a good temperament and a winning mentality. For trainers, those are great players to work with.”

Tyrell Malacia is the only signing of Erik ten Hag’s time in charge of Man Utd but Stam claims he can already see what his compatriot is looking to build.

Stam added: “You can clearly see that Ten Hag’s approach is to dominate matches and control the opponent’s half. Then you play with a lot of space in the back and you need players who are reasonably fast and not afraid to cover. Malacia has that and Martinez certainly.

“Back in the day, defenders in England couldn’t be big enough. Two metres was good, also to be able to head away a lot of balls. Now most clubs and coaches want to play football. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to defend.

“There are many fast attackers who are merciless on the counter. Therefore, what’s important is that a defender has cleverness. Quickly read where the ball goes, a little nudge or push. Then you don’t even have to get into duels. Martinez has also developed that.

“Martinez is very skilled and creative in his passing. The more he has such players, the more Ten Hag can keep the ball and the less he encounters counters. What is also important for this, certainly in the strongest competition in the world, is communication, and therefore who he will be linked to at the heart of the defence.

“And because Martinez is comfortable on the ball, he can also play as a defensive midfielder. I do not rule out the possibility that Ten Hag will use him there.”

 

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