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Lisando Martinez could end up costing Manchester United €64m and Ajax are very happy with the deal.
Martinez worked under Erik ten Hag at the Eredivisie club and the new United boss was keen to reunite with the player at Old Trafford.
De Telegaraaf (via Sport Witness) say Ajax will see the defender leave ‘with pain in their hearts’, but the high transfer fee ‘compensates a lot’.
The Dutch club secured a deal worth €54m with €10m in bonuses with the report claiming former United goalkeeper and current Ajax director Edwin van de Sar ‘made the most of’ the negotiations.
Arsenal were also heavily interested in Martinez and the report states that Ajax have ‘pulled off a real feat’ considering the first bid from the Gunners was less than half what United eventually paid.
The bidding war caused the centre-back’s price to ‘skyrocket’ and means he is the third most expensive departure in the history of Dutch football behind just Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt.
Former Red Devils defender Jaap Stam recently outlined why Martinez is a good signing for United this summer.
“Whether Martinez is worth €50m, that is difficult to say. This kind of money has become normal. Especially in England,” Stam told Algemeen Dagblad.
“I have become a fan of his. I think he’s a fantastic guy, with a good temperament and a winning mentality. For trainers, those are great players to work with.”
Stam added: “You can clearly see that Ten Hag’s approach is to dominate matches and control the opponent’s half. Then you play with a lot of space in the back and you need players who are reasonably fast and not afraid to cover. [Tyrell] Malacia has that and Martinez certainly.
“Back in the day, defenders in England couldn’t be big enough. Two metres was good, also to be able to head away a lot of balls. Now most clubs and coaches want to play football. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to defend.
“There are many fast attackers who are merciless on the counter. Therefore, what’s important is that a defender has cleverness. Quickly read where the ball goes, a little nudge or push. Then you don’t even have to get into duels. Martinez has also developed that.
“Martinez is very skilled and creative in his passing. The more he has such players, the more Ten Hag can keep the ball and the less he encounters counters. What is also important for this, certainly in the strongest competition in the world, is communication, and therefore who he will be linked to at the heart of the defence.
“And because Martinez is comfortable on the ball, he can also play as a defensive midfielder. I do not rule out the possibility that Ten Hag will use him there.”
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