Lisandro Martinez is finally a Manchester United player – but Erik ten Hag’s side aren’t done there. Express Sport understands that the club are continuing to work on a deal for Frenkie de Jong, while keeping hopes of bringing Antony to Old Trafford. Bids for the pair won’t be straightforward, however.
Manchester United’s first signing from the Ten Hag era was Tyrell Malacia, with the left-back leaving Feyenoord to compete with Luke Shaw.
Then, earlier in the week, the Red Devils confirmed Eriksen’s arrival.
And United have now said they have agreed a fee with Ajax for Martinez, who is set to earn £120,000-a-week at his new club. They said in a statement: “Manchester United are delighted to announce that the club have reached an agreement with Ajax for the transfer of Argentina international defender Lisandro Martinez, subject to medical conditions, the finalization of player terms and conditions. UK visa requirements.”
He will move for an aggregate fee of around £55million, once bonuses are included.
The Argentinian international will offer a different profile from Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly.
And the 24-year-old’s versatility will also come in handy, with Martinez capable of playing in midfield as well.
Now United will work to add more players to their squad.
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One thing preventing a deal for De Jong is the salary owed to the player by his current employers.
At the start of the coronavirus pandemic just over two years ago, De Jong agreed to take a pay cut.
And Barcelona now owe him £17million in deferred wages, although the La Liga giants are currently reluctant to shell out the money.
A second player United want to bring in is Antony.
The Brazil international drew comparisons to Neymar during his time in Amsterdam, establishing himself as one of the hottest talents in European football.
Antony scored eight goals and four assists in 23 Eredivisie appearances last season.
And he believes the time is right to move to Old Trafford, particularly following the appointment of Ten Hag.
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The problem, however, is that Ajax are reluctant to lose another of their prized assets.
Martinez has already been cleared for a move to United, with the Argentina international previously a key figure in the Dutch side throughout his three years on their books.
And Noussair Mazraoui and Ryan Gravenberch have both joined the Bundesliga with defending champions Bayern Munich.
Ajax want around £70million to part ways with Antony, believing the hefty price tag is justified.
And if United agree to pay the money, he would become their fifth most expensive signing ever.
Paul Pogba remains their most expensive signing, costing £89million when Juventus returned in the 2016 summer transfer window.
Harry Maguire cost £80m after landing from Leicester, while Romelu Lukaku joined Everton for £75m in 2017.
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And, last summer, United splashed out £73million to bring in Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.
Meanwhile, in other United news, club captain Harry Maguire insisted he and his team-mates put on the transplant as they look to win the Ten Hag round.
“Last year was disappointing,” Maguire said.
“As an individual I didn’t play well and as a team we certainly didn’t play well.
“But a good career can last 10 to 15 years and you will never have all the years where everything is going well and you have no difficulties.
“You’re going to have to fight, you’re going to have setbacks and last year was definitely a setback for me in my career journey.
“But that’s behind us now, we’re looking forward to the future and bringing this club back to winning trophies, that’s what it’s all about.”
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