Manchester United are holding talks with Ajax in bid to complete a deal for defender Lisandro Martinez. United had previously offered Ajax €40 million guaranteed, with a potential further €5 million in add-ons. The Dutch club held firm for more. It is understood a deal could be worth €55 million guaranteed, plus add-ons.

Further talks are required, and hurdles to overcome after Ajax raised the asking price, but sources have optimism about an agreement. Arsenal had also been negotiating with Ajax for Martinez but United appear to have won the race. Both English sides believed the player was happy to join them. However, they had not expected personal terms to be an issue.

A move to Old Trafford to be reunited with his former manager Erik ten Hag is understood to have appealed to the defender more. Martinez told the Eredivisie champions that the only option he would consider is a move to the Premier League. When Ajax extended his contract last October, there was an understanding that they would not stand in his way if the chance arrived.

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He has played mostly in central defence since arriving in 2019. He can also operate as a left-back and as a holding midfielder. While Arsenal primarily saw Lisandro Martinez as a left-back who could compete with Kieran Tierney for a place, United viewed him as a centre-back. One of a different profile to rival Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane. Sources suggest Eric Bailly wants to fight for his place at United while Phil Jones is attracting interest.

Martinez could become United’s second summer signing after the arrival of Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord.