Ajax want Man Utd to improve offer for Lisandro Martinez

Lisandro Martinez in action for Ajax in the Champions League
Lisandro Martinez in action for Ajax in the Champions League / ANP/GettyImages

Ajax want Manchester United to further increase their offer for Argentina international Lisandro Martinez, 90min understands.

The Red Devils are confident of beating Premier League rivals Arsenal in the race to sign 24-year-old Martinez, who can play in central defence, at full-back and in the holding midfield role, but have thus far been unable to agree a fee with Ajax.

90min revealed on Friday that United had put a second offer forward worth around €50m including bonuses, after seeing an initial offer of €43m, potentially rising to €45m, rebuffed by the Eredivisie champions.

Martinez has emerged as United manager Erik ten Hag's number one defensive target after Jurrien Timber decided against rejoining his former boss, but sources have told 90min that Ajax are still not happy with the offer they have received.

The Dutch giants instead want United to increase their cash offer for Martinez to €50m, with further add-ons and bonus payments potentially pushing the figure even higher.

It's a similar tactic to the one Ajax are employing for versatile winger Antony, who has made it abundantly clear to the club's hierarchy that he wants to leave for a new challenge. But they are determined to hold out for a fee of at least €70m, and it's feasible that Ajax could demand more as negotiations with United continue to drag on.

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Arsenal are still in the running to sign Martinez and have made bids of their own, but it's United who appear to be in the driving seat at this stage - although Ajax's stance is a clear indication that they will only do business on their terms.

Man Utd are also playing the long game with Barcelona over a deal for Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong - another player Ten Hag has worked with in the past. The Catalan giants don't want to part ways with the 25-year-old, but may have no choice given their dire need to cut costs and free up space on their hugely inflated wage bill.

There's also interest in yet another former Ten Hag disciple, 20-year-old striker Brian Brobbey. 90min understands that contact has been made to gauge his interest in moving to the Premier League, with a departure from RB Leizpig already looking likely after a successful loan spell at Ajax during the second half of last season.

Brobbey was handed his professional debut by Ten Hag two years ago but left Ajax in 2021 to join RB Leipzig, after the club signed Sebastien Haller from West Ham. However, he failed to settle in the Bundesliga, and scored seven Eredivisie goals in 11 appearances under Ten Hag after agreeing a loan back to Amsterdam in January.