Arsenal have reportedly submitted an improved €40 million (£34m) offer for Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez.
THE LOWDOWN: BATTLE WITH MAN UTD
The Gunners had a €30m offer rejected by the Dutch Eredivise champions, and have in turn set a price tag of around €50M to €60M (£42m – £51m) for the Argentinian maestro who looks set to leave Amsterdam this summer.
With Mikel Arteta looking to bolster the quality in his back-line, the versatile 24-year-old certainly fits the bill for the Spanish coach, however, he may not have an easy run at the player.
Manchester United are now reportedly in the frame for Martinez’ signature, with Erik ten Hag an admirer of the ace having worked with him for a few seasons over at Ajax.
However, the north London outfit are determined to win the race for his services, with this new update.
THE LATEST: IMPROVED OFFER
According to Goal, Arsenal are awaiting a response for their second offer for Martinez.
The report goes on to claim that the second bid is believed to total around €40m (£34m), plus bonuses.
The Argentinian star is understood to be keen on a move to the Premier League this summer and is awaiting news of the Dutch club’s response.
THE VERDICT: WIN THE RACE
With the vast amount of potential and ability the £28.8m-rated defensive destroyer possesses in his weaponry, it is vitally imperative that the Gunners win the race for his signature.
Journalist Casey Evans previously praised the player for his “bulldog-like” approach, and his numbers from last term suggest that he is indeed the bullish defender Arsenal desperately need to bolster their back line.
The 5 foot 9 powerhouse won an incredible 69% of his individual duels and made 3.9 tackles and interceptions per game in the Eredivisie – showing that he is an aggressive defender who wins the majority of his defensive duels.
He averaged an impressive SofaScore rating of 7.61 from centre-back as he produced quality displays week-in-week-out in the Netherlands.
He’d also fit right in within Arteta’s possession-orientated system, simply because of his stunning work in possession, so adept and capable of progressing the play, and offering line-breaking passes that can cut open organised defences at will.
As per FBref, he ranks amongst the best-performing centre-backs in the continent for possession. He ranks in the top 13% for passes attempted per 90 (87.00), top 1% for pass completion % (93.0), top 1% for progressive passes (7.88) and also in the top 4% for progressive carries (6.13) highlighting his incredible variation when trying to get his team up the pitch into the attacking third.
Martinez is a tremendous ball distributor and progressor, and would offer a lot of fine creativity and passing both in the defensive third when building out the back, a trait Arteta loves and one he will be hoping to harness as the Gunners aim to get back into the coveted Champions League places next season.