Lisandro Martinez breakthrough as Man Utd on verge of £46m deal for Ajax star

Manchester United appear to be on the cusp of signing Ajax central defender Lisandro Martinez for £46million.

This will come as further good news for Erik ten Hag, who saw his new side blow Liverpool away 4-0 in a pre-season friendly in Bangkok. While top target Frenkie de Jong continues to dig his heels in at Barcelona, Ten Hag's reunification with Martinez would be the Dutchman's second reinforcement at the Red Devils.

United also recently completed the £13m signing of Feyenoord defender Tyrell Malacia, a player Ten Hag once described as "amazing" when he was still manager of Ajax. And Martinez looks set to be the latest new addition to United's new-look defence this summer.

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Reports from the Sun understand United are in the final stages of completing a transfer for the Argentine. Their initial £42m bid was turned down by Ajax.

However, they are determined to get their man and a newly submitted £46m offer looks to have persuaded the Eredivisie champions into selling. His arrival will be a huge relief to Ten Hag, who has already seen United's attempts to sign Martinez's team mate Jurrien Timber fall on deaf ears.

Timber is understood to have turned Ten Hag's approach down after former United boss Louis van Gaal reportedly advised him not to move to Old Trafford this season. The central defender's snub was one of many frustrations for Ten Hag, who has had to deal with an awful lot of outside noise this summer; the loudest of which being Cristiano Ronaldo's reported desire to leave the club.

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Ronaldo hammered home 24 goals and three assists in 38 appearances for the Reds last season, but it couldn't prevent a dismal sixth place finish that left United without Champions League football this coming year. United recently declined to comment on speculation linking Ronaldo with an Old Trafford exit, less than a year after he sealed an unforgettable return to the club.

Nevertheless, a coy Ten Hag insisted Ronaldo remains in his plans for the club. "We are planning with Cristiano Ronaldo for the season,” Ten Hag recently said in response to further questions about the United legend.

"That's it and I'm looking forward to working with him. I have read things but what I say is Cristiano is not for sale. He is in our plans and we want success together."


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