Man Utd close to £46.5m deal with Ajax for Lisandro Martinez | Soccer

Ajax star Lisandro Martinez shortly before his move to Manchester United

The two clubs just have to agree on the structure of the payments (Picture: Getty)

Manchester United are on the verge of finalizing a £46.5m deal for Lisandro Martinez – and have club legend and Ajax boss Edwin van der Sar to thank for finally making a breakthrough.

The Red Devils have been chasing the Argentine defender – who was named the club’s Player of the Year last season – for several weeks but have struggled to agree a fee with the Eredivisie champions.

Ajax have already lost Ryan Gravenberch and Noussair Mazraoui to Bayern Munich and Sebastien Haller to Borussia Dortmund this summer and have been extremely reluctant to lose any more of their stars.

As a result, they had played tough with both United and Arsenal over a fee for Martinez, with the Gunners turning down several offers for the 24-year-old.

But now Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf are reporting that United made a significant breakthrough on Wednesday after hours of talks with Ajax.

The Red Devils have agreed to pay a €55m (£46.5m) package that includes various bonuses and add-ons.

Now both clubs just have to agree on the terms and structure of the payment and get it signed off by the board of directors in the case of Ajax and the Glazers in the case of United.

The Man Utd legend is helping the club secure a £46.5m deal with Ajax for Lisandro Martinez

Martinez made it clear he didn’t want to join Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Ajax boss Van der Sar – who, of course, played for United – is credited with playing a crucial role in Wednesday’s talks.

It was the Dutchman who gave the transfer ‘a step in the right direction’ and now both United and Ajax expect to reach a full agreement on Thursday.

Interestingly, the Ajax hierarchy don’t think they’ll ever receive such a hefty fee for Martinez again and have grudgingly concluded that this is the right time to capitalize on the centre-back – especially given the reservations about his size.

Martinez himself also played a big part in the transfer, with De Telegraaf reporting that he personally turned down Arsenal and then made it clear to Ajax that he only wanted a move to Old Trafford.

The Argentine is keen on being reunited with old boss Erik ten Hag in Manchester and considers the transfer a ‘dream move’ as the centre-back is eager to prove himself in the Premier League.

Martinez will become United’s second summer signing after Tyrell Malacia and they are still hoping to land Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong – although the midfielder still has significant concerns about leaving Camp Nou.

MORE: Manchester United deal to sign Frenkie de Jong ‘postponed’ after talks collapse recently

MORE : Manchester United will sack three defenders once deal for Ajax star Lisandro Martinez is confirmed

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Manchester United Man Utd close to £46.5m deal with Ajax for Lisandro Martinez | Soccer

Nate Jones

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