Manchester United have a ‘genuine’ interest in bringing Ajax star Lisandro Martinez to Old Trafford, but there are doubts over when a formal offer will be tabled, according to CBS reporter Ben Jacobs.
Erik ten Hag is looking to be reunited with the defender after walking away from the Dutch capital in order to be installed as the new Red Devils boss ahead of the upcoming campaign.
What’s the latest news involving Martinez?
According to MailOnline, Manchester United have moved ahead of Premier League rivals Arsenal into pole position for Martinez’s signature.
The report suggests Ajax have slapped a £43million price tag on the seven-cap Argentina international and the Red Devils could win the race thanks to the influence of ten Hag and being expected to make a major push for a deal over the weekend.
It is understood that Manchester United are preparing to test the Eredivisie title holders’ resolve as they are plotting a £40million bid.
Arsenal, meanwhile, have already been frustrated in their efforts to land Martinez and lodged three separate bids since the transfer window officially opened for business last month.
With the 24-year-old’s £43,000-per-week contract still having three years to run, Ajax are in a strong negotiating position and not in an immediate need to cash-in.
What has Ben Jacobs said about Martinez?
Jacobs understands Manchester United are keen to beat Arsenal to acquiring Martinez this summer, but there are question marks over when they will up the ante in their pursuit.
The journalist also has doubts over whether ten Hag will have the necessary funds to complete the deal if Tyrell Malacia’s impending move from Feyenoord goes through.
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Jacobs told GIVEMESPORT: “Manchester United’s interest in Martinez is more genuine, but they haven’t yet done anything with that.
“There’s still no credible evidence that they are, in the next days or weeks, going to put down any kind of realistic formal bid that is going to progress that.
“Let’s say they get Malacia, then do they still go in for Martinez and have they got the finances again?”
Why does ten Hag want to seal a reunion with Martinez?
Ten Hag selected Martinez 120 times during his Ajax reign, so it is clear the new Manchester United chief trusts and rates the central defender highly.
The Dutchman even described the in-demand star as ‘an excellent player’, further emphasising that he would be keen to work with Martinez again.
The Ajax man registered an average match rating of 7.6 last season, demonstrating that he is a consistently high performer, and even showed he can be a threat in the opposition’s penalty area as he chalked up five goal contributions over the course of 36 appearances.