MANCHESTER UNITED have announced the £55million signing of Lisandro Martinez from Ajax.
The Red Devils have beaten off interest from Prem rivals Arsenal to secure the centre-back’s signature.
Martinez, 24, played under boss Erik ten Hag for three years in Amsterdam and will now link up with him again at Old Trafford.
Arsenal made an initial bid of around £34m, before United came in with an improved offer just shy of £40m.
Eventually the Red Devils were able to settle upon paying an initial £46.8m fee, which is set to rise to £55m with add-ons.
The deal is still subject to medical, personal terms and UK visa requirements – although it’s understood Martinez will pen a deal worth £120,000 a week at Old Trafford.
Martinez jetted into Manchester to complete his medical on Friday.
He posted a picture onboard a private jet heading for Manchester alongside his agent Christian Bragarnik after being spotted by fans at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.
The 5ft 9in ace is known as a ball-playing defender and is set to play an integral part in Ten Hag’s Man United revolution.
As it stands, he will be the shortest centre-back in the Premier League.
That shouldn’t be a problem, however, as he still won 79 aerial duels last season – four more than United skipper Harry Maguire, who is seven inches taller than him.
United legend Rio Ferdinand is excited about the signing.
He said on his Vibe with Five show: “The more I’ve looked into him and the vibes and the stories I’m hearing and the mutterings from different people – it gets better.
“I listened to an interview with Jurrien Timber, the young player that United were looking to sign, the centre back Martinez played alongside at Ajax.
“He was saying, ‘When I’m not on my game and a bit out of concentration, Martinez always shouts at me, he always swears at me in in his language and gets me going.’
“I’ve been shouting about the character element for a long time and from what I’m hearing from various people, Timber being one of them, is that he has the character.
“He’s a leader. He [makes] demands of other people and he’s somebody who wants to get physical and very aggressive but who can also play.”
Martinez is the Dutchman’s third signing at United, after they announced deals for Tyrell Malacia and Christian Eriksen.
The Red Devils’ summer spending isn’t set to end with Martinez, as Ten Hag aims to reunite with another of his former stars.
United are desperate to sign Barcelona’s former Ajax ace Frenkie de Jong.
Having been in negotiations for over two months, the Red Devils believed they’d agreed a £71m deal earlier this week.
But the move hit a snag over deferred wages that De Jong is owed.
Reports in Spain have suggested that the 25-year-old doesn’t want to move to Old Trafford.
But it’s claimed that De Jong’s public stance is merely a ploy to improve his bargaining position with Barca, and that he IS willing to join United.
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