Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta ‘will be pushing his recruitment team’ to seal Lisandro Martinez’s arrival at the Emirates Stadium due to fears of Manchester United attempting to hijack the deal, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.
The Gunners and Red Devils, who finished fifth and sixth in the Premier League respectively last season, are involved in a tug-of-war as they are eager to secure Martinez’s services ahead of the upcoming campaign.
What’s the latest news involving Martinez?
According to The Sun, Arsenal have submitted a third Martinez bid after seeing proposals worth £26million and £34million turned down by Ajax.
The report suggests the Eredivisie champions have slapped a £43million price tag on the seven-cap Argentina international and they are hoping to spark a bidding war between the Gunners and Manchester United.
The Red Devils, who now have Erik ten Hag at the helm after the Dutchman opted to swap Ajax for Old Trafford, are also interested.
It is understood that Manchester United are plotting an offer worth £40million as the new Red Devils chief wants to seal a reunion with Martinez.
However, Ajax are in a strong negotiating position and do not need to lower their valuation as the 24-year-old’s £43,000-per-week contract still has three years to run.
What has Pete O’Rourke said about Martinez?
O’Rourke believes Arsenal boss Arteta will be fully aware of Manchester United’s interest in Martinez.
As a result, the journalist feels the Gunners boss will be urging those working behind the scenes to speed up negotiations.
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O’Rourke told GIVEMESPORT: “Arsenal have, obviously, done a lot of business early so far this summer transfer window.
“Mikel Arteta will be pushing his recruitment team, Edu and others to try and get this deal over the line and prevent Manchester United coming in late and maybe hijacking the deal, which they have done with Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord as well. Lyon thought they were getting him.”
Why is Martinez of interest to Arsenal?
Arsenal may have spent big on another central defender just last year, with £50million being needed to draft Ben White in from Brighton & Hove Albion, but Martinez would give the north Londoners even more stability at the back.
The Argentinian secured an average match rating of 7.6 last season, emphasising how he is a consistently high performer.
Martinez can also be a threat in the opposition’s penalty area as he chalked up five goal contributions over the course of 36 appearances during the 2021/22 campaign.
Arteta is hoping to return Arsenal to their former glory days and Martinez has become accustomed to winning silverware, having clinched trophies at club and international level, so he would be an impressive addition to the Gunners’ squad.