Why Man Utd are set to back out of battle for ‘firm’ €50m Arsenal target

Manchester United could pull out of the race with Arsenal to sign Lisandro Martinez from Ajax, according to reports.

Arsenal are reportedly ready to pay 30m euros (£25.8m) for the versatile defender, with the Dutch side setting a price tag of 50m euros (£43m) to try to land them away as they wish to retain his services for another season.

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United have also been linked with Martinez, who has flourished under new Old Trafford boss Erik ten Hag for the Eredivisie side.

Athleticism David Ornstein has confirmed Mikel Arteta’s interest in the 24-year-old, before explaining United are concerned about the player’s height.

“Lisandro Martinez is a firm target for Arsenal for the left centre-back role and he can also operate at left-back in the minds of Arsenal,” Ornstein said. Hayters TV (Going through Subway).

“He’s a player that Mikel Arteta wants to sign. Arsenal had an approach of around €30m turned down by Ajax, that interest won’t go down.

“The question is who else is interested in him? Of course, he’s played for Erik ten Hag in the past, and it looks like Erik ten Hag would love to bring him to United now.

“The problem is that Manchester United are focusing on Frenkie de Jong and Christian Eriksen, there may also be concerns if Lisandro Martinez is big enough for the left center back role because I don’t know if Manchester United are looking to do what Arsenal would like, which is to use him at left-back as well.

“As things stand, I think Arsenal are the likeliest destination for Lisandro Martinez, who would be keen on a move, but it could have twists and turns with a number of clubs admiring such a good player.”

Meanwhile, former United first-team manager Rene Meulensteen is worried about the lack of transfer activity at Old Traford and has warned Erik ten Hag of his “huge step forward”.

“It’s a bit of a concern. If you look at how Liverpool and City have done their business with Darwin Nunez and Erling Haaland, they have gone from strength to strength.

“United have a lot more work to do than that. It’s a huge step forward [for Ten Hag]. He has to make the dressing room stick to his ideas and his way of working, because there have been problems in the last season.

“He needs to sort this out and get to work. You want the players to walk through the door and you want to excite the fans. I think his message through the media must be important.

“They just slide and slide and if I don’t really see any quality coming through the door. If Ten Hag has a similar squad to last year with the players remaining, then it will be a big, big challenge.

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