Erik ten Hag 'overruled Man United's board for Lisandro Martinez'

Erik ten Hag ‘overruled Manchester United’s board and recruitment department to push through £55m Lisandro Martinez transfer after club’s scouts had recommended a move for Pau Torres instead’

  • Erik ten Hag convinces Manchester United’s board to sign Lisandro Martinez 
  • The Argentine defender joins after a £55.3million fee was agreed with Ajax
  • United’s recruitment team had recommended Villarreal’s Pau Torres instead
  • There were initially concerns over Martinez’ lack of height and his slight frame  

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag overruled the board at Manchester United to finalise the £55.3million deal for Lisandro Martinez from Ajax. 

The club’s scouts had recommended a move for Villarreal’s Pau Torres, who has long been a target for the club, but ten Hag persuaded the board to back his pursuit of his former player. 

Martinez played under the Dutch manager at Ajax for two seasons, where he was deployed as a centre-back, left-back and centre-midfielder at time. 

Erik ten Hag convinced the Manchester United board to sign Lisandro Martinez over Pau Torres

Whilst signing a central defender this window was not regarded as a priority, with Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof considered adequate cover in that position, Martinez becomes the Red Devils’ third signing of the summer. 

Martinez cost the club around £55m after performance based add-ons

At just five foot nine, there were concerns over Martinez’ ability to compete in the Premier League, which is notorious for its physicality and has seen several leading players struggle to adapt to. 

But ten Had reportedly expressed concerns with Torres’ lack of pace, which would likely see him struggle to play a high line, and would also leave him vulnerable in a probably pairing with club captain Maguire. 

It is an early sign of what is to come in the transfer market for United fans, and many will be pleased to see the sway the Dutchman has in recruitment decisions as he looks to rebuild a club to its former glory.  

United agreed a £46.8m fee with de Godenzonen, to be followed by £8.5m in performance and achievement based bonuses, and Martinez is set to sign a five-year deal worth £120,000-per-week. 

Martinez will now wait for his new team-mates to return from their pre-season tour of Australia before joining up with them ahead of the new season. 

Martinez, 24, offers versatility and can play at centre-back, left-back and defensive midfield

Martinez won two Dutch league titles during his time in the Ajax ranks, plus the Dutch cup

And ten Hag will be hopeful that he can land another former player of his in Frenkie de Jong, who has been subject of perhaps the most high-profile saga of the window. 

The Dutch star is the new United manager’s top target and he is prepared to hold out until the last second to sign gifted midfielder De Jong, who was his ‘favourite player’ while managing at Ajax.

He has openly stated he wants to stay at the Nou Camp, and has flown to Miami to participate in Barcelona’s pre-season tour of the US – but sources close to the player have said he is in regular contact with Ten Hag and is happy to join United. 

United’s scouts recommended signing Torres but ten Hag pushed for his former Ajax player

Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong is Ten Hag’s No 1 target for this summer transfer window

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