Manchester United ‘will have to pay Ajax more than £115m for transfer targets Antony and Lisandro Martinez this summer… with the Dutch champions ready to play hardball with former boss Erik ten Hag’
- Ajax are believed to want £45m for Lisandro Martinez and value Antony at £70m
- Manchester United have been linked to the Argentina defender and Brazil winger
- The Eredivisie winners are reportedly confident of holding out for the price tags
- United boss Erik ten Hag and the duo won the title in each of the last two seasons
United have repeatedly been linked with two of the stars of Ten Hag’s Eredivisie-winning teams of the last two seasons and face competition from Arsenal, who have already made a second offer of £34m to Ajax for Argentina defender Martinez.
The Dutch giants believe they are financially strong enough to hold firm on their £45m valuation of Martinez and asking price of around £70m for Brazil winger Antony, The Sun has said.
Lisandro Martinez (left) earned Dutch champions Ajax’s player of the season award for 2021/22
Antony (right) signed for Ten Hag’s (left) Ajax in 2020, making his Brazil bow the following year
The outlet claims Ajax are set to play ‘hardball’ because they know United are ‘desperate’ for recruits after returning for pre-season training under Ten Hag’s new regime on Monday.
United players who were not involved in internationals reported for the session and met Ten Hag as the Dutchman plots the club’s revival.
Ten Hag is closing in on Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong, although United have had an initial offer of £60m turned down because Barca want to break even on the £65m they paid Ajax for the Netherlands midfielder.
A plethora of central defenders remain on the books at Old Trafford and United are thought to be prioritising other positions until some of those players have left.
Argentina defender Martinez’s performances played a major part in Ajax’s defensive prowess
Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe could all be on their way out after forming part of a squad who secured Europa League football on the final day of a trophyless campaign.
Left-back Nicolas Tagliafico – the only Argentinian along with Martinez to have made 100 appearances for Ajax – has been linked with United.
Christian Eriksen, whose short-term contract at Brentford is about to end, is also thought to be ready to decide within days whether he will join Ten Hag’s rebuild.