September 25, 2022

Manchester United raise their bid for Lisandro Martinez to £43m to beat Arsenal to his signature, with Ajax considering the offer close to their valuation as Erik ten Hag eye a defensive ‘butcher’ reunion

  • Man United have submitted an improved £43m bid for Lisandro Martinez
  • Erik ten Hag hopes to tempt his former Ajax side by reaching their asking price
  • Defender Martinez wants to leave despite interest from United and Arsenal

Manchester United have made an improved £43m offer for Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez in a bid to beat Arsenal to his signature.

The new offer is £5million more than their last offer and is close to Ajax’s valuation.

The Ajax board will consider the offer today bearing in mind that the 24-year-old has already asked to be allowed to fulfill his Premier League dream.

Ajax had already braced themselves for further offers after United and Arsenal both offered around £38.5million for the Argentine – although the Eredivisie club expected more after the brilliant season in Martinez.

The club have submitted a £43million bid for the Argentine

Manchester United and Erik ten Hag (L) are hoping to land Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez (R) after initiating a £43million bid

He started 23 times in the league under Ten Hag to help them win the title and played 37 games in total – scoring once and even providing three assists.

Last week Ajax directors Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Gerry Hamstra were in London to discuss the initial deal with United – which matched Arsenal’s £38million offer but offered a structure that guaranteed them more money.

But now United have given in to Ajax’s demands and racked up more money as they seek to complete the deal and convince him to move to Old Trafford rather than the Emirates as they prepare to embark on a pre-season tour of Korea.

Martinez – affectionately known to fans as ‘the Argentine Butcher’ due to his tenacity on the ball and in the air – has asked to leave the Eredivisie club and is keen to try his luck in the Premier League.

Ten Hag knows Martinez well after working with him over the past three seasons at Ajax

Ten Hag knows Martinez well after working with him over the past three seasons at Ajax


Born in the Argentinian city of Gualeguay, Martinez started playing for Newell’s Old Boys, the iconic team where Lionel Messi rose to fame.

He grew up idolizing fellow countryman Gabriel Heinze – who played for Manchester United, the club chasing his signature.

Martinez began to attract the attention of clubs across Europe due to his confidence and ability as a left-footed centre-back.

Ajax quickly started to straighten their heads after starting to impress for new club Defensa y Justicia.

During three years at the club, he earned a reputation for his fearsome displays and his tenacity to win the ball in the air and on the ground, earning him the nickname “the Argentine butcher”.

“In Argentina, I never hear that nickname,” he admitted last year when asked about the nickname given to him. “But I know the fans here call me that. I like it and see it as a compliment.

“I never give up and I always go to fight full of struggles. That’s who I am.

While respectful of what Ajax have done for him, he is unwilling to pass up the opportunity of a move to the Premier League and staying in Amsterdam next season is not an option for him.

He told the club that reaching a deal soon, either with United or Arsenal, would be the most beneficial solution for all parties.

Arsenal had two offers rejected with their latest, amounting to £34m plus add-ons up to £38m.

United have responded with £35.3m plus guaranteed add-ons at £38m but have the added appeal of manager Erik ten Hag, who forged a strong relationship with Lisandro during his tenure with the champions Dutch.

Martinez started his career in his native Argentina, playing at youth level for Newell’s Old Boys before joining Defensa y Justicia.

It was here that his quality began to shine as his performances attracted interest from across Europe – including Ajax – who bought him for just £6million in 2019.

Martinez is known as 'The Argentine Butcher' due to his tenacity in the tackle and in the air

Martinez is known as ‘The Argentine Butcher’ due to his tenacity in the tackle and in the air

Ten Hag has already made his first United signing, bringing in Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord

Ten Hag has already made his first United signing, bringing in Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord

Since joining the Dutch giants he has won two Eredivisie titles and the Dutch Cup – with Ajax now in line to significantly benefit from the player who came to replace Mathijis de Ligt after his transfer at Juventus the same year.

He played a total of 120 games under the watchful eye of Ten Hag, who once hailed him as an “excellent” all-around defender, capable of playing in many positions on the baseline, as well as in midfield. ground.

The Red Devils have already signed one player from the Dutch league – left-back Tyrell Malacia, who has joined from Feyenoord in a £13million deal.

Ten Hag is also chasing another player from the Eredivisie and his former club Ajax – with striker Antony a target for his United revolution.

sports mail reported last week how Ten Hag rates the winger highly after working with him for two seasons and is eager to bring him to Old Trafford.

However, United believe it will be difficult to secure a deal as Ajax’s valuation of £70m is seen as too expensive.