Man Utd: £40m star 'among' Ten Hag's top targets' at Old Trafford

Manchester United target Erik ten Hag

Manchester United have made Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez one of their “top targets”, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

The Red Devils conceded 57 goals in the Premier League last season and Erik ten Hag is clearly looking to improve his defensive options.

What’s the latest news involving Martinez?

United brought in France international Raphael Varane 12 months ago, but not even his arrival could prevent United from enduring their worst defensive season for more than 40 years.

GiveMeSport Transfer Verdict
GiveMeSport Transfer Verdict

As a result, while Ten Hag is on the cusp of making Frenkie de Jong and Tyrell Malacia his first signings as United boss, he’s also targeting another of his former players.

According to The Athletic, Arsenal recently launched a second bid of £35m for Martinez, but talkSPORT believe that United are set to make a £40m bid of their own, with Ten Hag a ‘big admirer’ of the 24-year-old, who’s played more than 100 games across three seasons in Amsterdam.

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Ten Hag brought Martinez to European football from Argentinian outfit Defensa y Justicia back in 2019 and is hoping to sign the defender for a second time.

What did O’Rourke say about Martinez?

He told GIVEMESPORT: “It does seem like he’s among their top targets, although they’re competing against Arsenal for Lisandro Martinez. Ten Hag is a big fan having worked with him at Ajax.”

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How did Martinez perform last season?

Unlike the majority of United’s defenders, Martinez enjoyed an exceptional season in Holland, with his WhoScored rating (7.60), the third-best in the Ajax squad.

The versatile defender, who can play at left-back and in midfield, made more clearances (2.8) and interceptions (1.9) than any of his teammates, while he was in the top two players for most blocks and tackles, making an impressive two every time he took to the pitch in the Dutch top-flight.

Not only did Martinez also chip in with one goal and three assists but his passing statistics were amongst the best in the Ajax ranks.

Only one other player in Ten Hag’s squad that started more than five matches could boast a better success rate than his 88.9 per cent, and that was another of United’s targets Jurrien Timber, who completed 91.5 per cent of his attempted passes to his teammates.

In conclusion, while the Premier League will offer up a different challenge to what he’s faced previously, Martinez’s numbers suggest that he’ll be a shrewd addition to United’s backline.  

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