Arsenal have stolen a march to Manchester United by submitting an improved offer of around £34.5million for Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez.
The Argentine centre-back, who is also able to play in defensive midfield, is a target for Erik ten Hag following Jurien Timber’s decision to reject a transfer to Old Trafford.
United, however, are fully focused on a transfer for Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong and they have left the door ajar for Arsenal to get through to Martinez.
After discussing a deal worth around £25million earlier in the summer, Dutch publication De Telegraaf reports that Arsenal have now made an offer in the region of £34.4million with add-ons.
Ajax has not yet responded to the offer for Martinez, but they are holding it at around £43 million and had plans for next season with the Argentine.
The Dutch giants could now use United’s interest to raise the price for the central defender, who is eager to move to the Premier League.
There has been speculation about Gabriel’s future at Arsenal, with Juventus reportedly excited about the Brazilian.
But with William Saliba staying with Emirates this season, Arteta has a wealth of options at the center of his defence.
Ten Hag wants two ball-playing central defenders who can easily get the ball out of the defense and be sure that they are one-on-one on the side.
While Harry Maguire is one of the best in the league at possession, he lacks the pace needed to play a high line and Ten Hag would ideally like a faster partner alongside Raphael Varane.
Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe are all expected to leave the club.
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