Huge blow for Arsenal as key target has his ‘hopes pinned’ on transfer to Man Utd

Joe Williams
Arsenal target Lisandro Martinez carries the ball

Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez favours a move to Manchester United over Arsenal despite the Gunners doing most of the pressing for his signature, according to reports.

The Argentina international was in top form last campaign for the Dutch club as they won the Eredivisie with Martinez playing 120 times across three seasons since joining from Defensa y Justicia.

And his form has turned heads in the Premier League with Arsenal and Man Utd both interested in bringing the centre-back to England this summer.

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A report in The Sun earlier this week claimed that the Gunners had made a third bid for Martinez but that the offer still didn’t meet Ajax’s £43m asking price.

Another media outlet insisted that Arsenal were in ‘pole position’ for Martinez’s signature this summer with The Sun adding that the Argentine ‘would be happy to move to Arsenal’.

The Daily Mail have claimed today that it is now Man Utd –  who are set to make a big effort to sign Martinez this weekend – that have the upper hand in the race to sign the Ajax centre-back but he is still open to a move to Old Trafford or the Emirates.

However, Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf take a slightly different view, revealing that Martinez has his ‘hopes pinned’ on a transfer to Man Utd this summer.

And De Telegraaf journalist Marcel van der Kraan has predicted that there will be “big developments in the 24 or 48 hours” as both Arsenal and Man Utd look to strike a deal with Ajax.

Van der Kraan said: “Martinez is very high on Erik ten Hag’s wishlist, so I expect big developments in the 24 or 48 hours. 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 €45-50m (£39-43m), but that is the advantage if two clubs bid, as we saw with Lyon and Manchester United, then it suddenly goes higher.”

The Ajax defender – who can also play in midfield – was born in the Argentinian city of Gualeguay and has won the Eredivisie, KNVB Cup and Johan Cruyff Shield at Ajax, while he helped Argentina to Copa America glory in 2021.