Devil in Gunners’ magazine: Filibustering Arsenal may be gazumped by bullish Man United – again!

Devil in Gunners’ magazine: Filibustering Arsenal may be gazumped by bullish Man United – again!


Arsenal are in danger of being gazumped for a second transfer target after Manchester United made a rival offer to sign Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez, according to reports. The Gunners moved into the driving seat to sign the Argentine after submitting an improved £34.5 million bid earlier this week, although it is still believed to fall short of Ajax’s valuation.

Martinez is said to be “keen” on a move to the Emirates despite the absence of Champions League football, with Mikel Arteta planning to use him predominantly as a left-back. United also have long-standing interest in the 24-year-old, who thrived under Erik ten Hag in Amsterdam and was named the Ajax’s Player of the Year for his performances last season.

According to TyC Sports, United do not want to miss out on Martinez to a Premier League rival and have now submitted their own £34.5 million bid, matching Arsenal’s offer.

That is not expected to be accepted by Ajax, but United are now firmly in the running to land the versatile defender and will be hoping the lure of working under Ten Hag will give them an advantage over the Gunners.

Martinez struck up an excellent relationship with the Dutch coach while he can expect a more defined role in the side compared to Arsenal, where Arteta sees him more as a squad player capable of covering at left-back, centre-back and defensive midfield.

Were Arsenal to miss out on Martinez it would be a second massive blow in a matter of days, with Chelsea having also hijacked their move for Leeds United star Raphinha.

The north Londoners had appeared to be the frontrunners to sign the Brazilian and were the only club to officially submit an offer – although it was far below the asking price – until Chelsea blew them out of the water by agreeing to pay £55  million upfront.

United, meanwhile, have found Ajax to be tough negotiators so far with talks over two other players – Jurrien Timber and Antony – proving unsuccessful, with the Eredivisie champions demanding big fees.

Ajax have already lost the likes of Ryan Gravenberch and Noussair Mazraoui, both to Bayern Munich, while Sebastien Haller is on the verge of joining Borussia Dortmund.

The Dutch side do not need funds and are in a financially strong position, meaning they will only sell Martinez, Antony and Timber if they receive massive bids that are simply too good to turn down.

United are currently pushing hard to sign Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona and are hopeful of agreeing a fee imminently, while they have also agreed a £15.7m fee with Feyenoord to sign left-back Tyrell Malacia.

  • A Metro report
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