Manchester United have completed the signing of Lisandro Martinez from Ajax, with the Argentina international defender making his way to Old Trafford at the end of a protracted transfer saga. Erik ten Hag quickly identified the 24-year-old as a top target after making his own move from the Eredivisie champions to the Premier League heavyweights this summer.
He has now got his man, with the Red Devils further reinforcing their back line with a player that will be eager to impress in new surroundings – particularly with the 2022 World Cup fast approaching.
How much will Man Utd pay for Martinez?
The Red Devils are investing £46.5 million ($53m) worth of faith in Martinez, with another big-money centre-half being added to their defensive ranks.
Ajax confirmed that the total value of the transfer could rise to £57m ($68m) once add-ons and other variables are taken into account.
What is Martinez’s contract length at Man Utd?
Martinez will reportedly commit to a five-year contract in Manchester, with those terms set to take him through to the summer of 2027.
What have Man Utd said about Martinez's transfer?
United have released an official statement confirming that an agreement is now in place with Ajax, which reads: "Manchester United is delighted to announce the club has reached agreement with Ajax for the transfer of Argentine international defender Lisandro Martinez, subject to medical, to player terms being finalised, and to UK visa requirements."
Were any other sides interested in Martinez?
United were not the only Premier League side to make a move for Martinez during the current transfer window, with old adversaries Arsenal also looking to do a deal at one stage.
The Gunners had a formal offer on the table, but GOAL was able to confirm that interest from Emirates Stadium cooled after being unable to agree a fee.
That left a path clear for the Red Devils to push an agreement through, with former goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar – who is now chief executive at Ajax – reportedly helping to broker a deal.
Will Martinez start for Man Utd?
The funds required to get a transfer for Martinez over the line suggest that he will be lined up for a starting berth by Ten Hag.
United do, however, have a number of other international centre-halves at their disposal and big decisions will need to be made when it comes to rotation and possible departures.
It has been confirmed that Harry Maguire will be retaining captaincy duties for 2022-23, meaning that he should start plenty of domestic and European fixtures, while Raphael Varane is a World Cup winner with France.
Victor Lindelof has made close to 200 appearances for United, and remains a reliable option, while Ivorian star Eric Bailly is a popular figure among supporters despite finding regular game time hard to come by of late.
Forget the height concerns - Martinez is Ten Hag's ideal defender
Ten Hag inherited no shortage of centre-backs at United, but it is a case of whether they are the right profile to play his possession-based game and build out from the back.
Martinez is seen as precisely that – and United’s new manager has no concerns about his short stature, having seen him dominate in the Netherlands with Ajax.
The Argentina international is also good in possession and will be comfortable taking the ball in tight spaces when under pressure.
As a left-sided centre-back, he will either provide cover for Harry Maguire, or allow the United captain to move over the right, where he is more comfortable.
Who else will Man Utd sign this summer?
United are working hard to get more bodies on board, though, with Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong having figured towards the top of their summer shopping list for some time.
A deal to sign the Netherlands international from Barcelona is now close, and like Martinez, he is another player that Ten Hag knows well from his time at Ajax, with there a number of other stars with ties to the Eredivisie giants that the Dutch tactician has his eye on.
There has been talk of Brazilian forward Antony swapping Amsterdam for Manchester, but Jurrien Timber appears destined to remain in the Netherlands.
While struggling to tempt a right-back to Old Trafford, Ten Hag has secured the signing of Tyrell Malacia, with the highly-rated 22-year left-back having completed his switch from Feyenoord.
Christian Eriksen has also completed his move on a free transfer from Brentford, while a back-up goalkeeper could be drafted in following the loan departure of Dean Henderson to Nottingham Forest.