Arsenal ‘further down the line’ for £43m target at the Emirates

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta celebrates

Arsenal are ‘probably further down the line’ in their negotiations for Lisandro Martinez than Manchester United, according to talkSPORT reporter Alex Crook.

The 24-year-old has been linked with a move away from Ajax in recent weeks after enjoying another successful season in Amsterdam and could find himself at the centre of a transfer tussle.

What is the latest news involving Martinez?

Dutch journalist Mike Verweij (via Fabrizio Romano) has revealed that Arsenal have ‘submitted a new bid’ for Martinez after their opening offer was rejected.

It’s claimed the Gunners put forward a proposal worth €40 million (£34.5m) plus add-ons, although Ajax are holding out for a €50m (£43m) fee.

Verweij also states that United have been in touch with Martinez’s agent, though, as new manager Erik ten Hag continues to explore the possibility of a reunion with his former player.

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However, whether Ajax are prepared to sanction the Argentina international’s sale at all remains to be seen as they have already watched a host of first-team stars depart the club.

Andre Onana, Ryan Gravenberch, Noussair Mazraoui and Sebastien Haller are set for pastures new, while United continue to pursue talented winger Antony.

What has Crook said about Martinez?

Crook has informed GiveMeSport that he cannot envisage Ajax offloading too many of their top stars in a single window and that any deal may hinge on ‘what happens with Antony’.

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He told GMS: “I don’t see them selling Haller, Antony and Martinez. So, I think that might be dependent on what happens with Antony.

“I think Arsenal are probably further down the line with him, although United are interested.”

Would Martinez be a good signing?

Martinez’s versatility is one of his key attributes as although he’s most comfortable at centre-back, he is also capable of playing at the base of midfield or left-back.

Throughout his three-year stay at the Johan Cruijff ArenA, the South American has racked up 12 goal contributions in 118 appearances for Ajax, claiming two Eredivisie titles and one Dutch Cup.

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But standing at just 5 foot 9, Martinez has a rather unique set of attributes for a player in his position compared to a more traditional central defender.

As per FBref, he has ranked in the 99th percentile for tackles, progressive passes, assists, and shot-creating actions, and the 96th for progressive carries when compared to his positional peers over the last 12 months.

Martinez, therefore, should have no issues adapting to Mikel Arteta’s possession-oriented style of play should he make the switch to Arsenal.

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