Arsenal plan new talks with Lisandro Martinez but he prefers Man Utd | Soccer

RKC Waalwijk v Ajax - Dutch Eredivisie

The race to sign the Ajax defender is heating up (Image: Getty Images)

Arsenal are set to meet with Ajax in the coming days to discuss a deal for Lisandro Martinez and are refusing to give up the defender despite preferring to join Manchester United.

The versatile Argentine is likely to leave Amsterdam this summer despite the Eredivisie champions desperate to retain their player of the year.

Ajax have already lost several of their stars, Ryan Gravenberch is moving to Bayern Munich and Sebastien Haller is on the verge of a move to Borussia Dortmund.

They were adamant they would not let anyone go unless they received an offer that was too good to refuse and now both Arsenal and United are getting closer to that price point for Martinez.

Ajax are believed to want around €50m (£43m) guaranteed, although United’s best offer so far has only reached £34m upfront, on top of £4m in bonuses and add-ons.

Arsenal have also rejected several offers but The Athletic report the Gunners’ hierarchy have scheduled a meeting with Ajax this week and are preparing to intensify negotiations.

The north Londoners are still hoping for a deal with the club and the player and believe Martinez is ready to join them despite his ties to Erik ten Hag.

Arsenal plan another Ajax meeting despite Lisandro Martinez preferring a move to Manchester United

Martinez is keen on working under Ten Hag again (Picture: Getty)

Reports last week claimed the 24-year-old did it “pinned his hopes” on reuniting with his former Ajax boss at Old Trafford, while he would play a more defined role under the Dutch manager.

Although Martinez is Arsenal’s top defensive target this summer, he is seen more as a top-flight utility player who would compete with Kieran Tierney for the left-back spot, as well as provide cover and competition at centre-back and defensive midfield.

Martinez has told Ajax he would like to move to the Premier League this summer, while he believes there was a gentleman’s agreement when his last contract was signed that he would be allowed to join a big club if an offer goes through.

While Martinez would be open to a move to the Emirates – personal terms not being an issue at all – what excites him most is the chance to work under Ten Hag again.

The United manager is keen to sign players who are used to his system and style of play and the Red Devils are also working on a deal to sign Ajax academy product Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona.

Martinez is believed to have vastly different skills and profile to United’s existing centre-backs whilst, like at Arsenal, his ability to play in midfield or at left-back is also highly valued.

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