Premier League giants, Manchester United are hopeful that Argentine defender Lisandro Martinez will be able to join his new team-mates on their pre-season tour in Australia after agreeing on a deal with Dutch giants, Ajax.
After weeks of talks, the Eredivisie champions finally accepted a £46million offer from the 20-times English champions on Thursday and the Argentine could be confirmed as a United player on Friday.
Ajax turned down two previous bids from the Red Devils, while the Gunners had also submitted multiple offers, however, Martinez had always insisted that he wanted to play under Erik ten Hag.
The 24-year-old Argentine defender was left out of the Dutch club’s training session on Thursday so as not to threaten his switch to Old Trafford.
According to The Athletic, the Red Devils are already making plans for Martinez and are hoping that he will be able to fly to Australia in the coming days to link up with the rest of the squad.
Ten Hag’s side play Melbourne Victory on Friday – which will come too soon for Martinez to be involved – before facing Premier League sides Crystal Palace and Aston Villa on Tuesday and Saturday respectively.
If United get the paperwork signed off in time, the Argentina international could have a chance of being involved in one of next week’s friendlies.
After meeting with Barcelona on Wednesday, United CEO Richard Arnold and football director John Murtough jetted to Amsterdam in order to wrap up the deal.
The negotiations had hit several stumbling blocks in previous days and weeks, but Ajax chief executive Edwin van der Sar – who, of course, previously played for United – is said to have played a crucial role in unblocking proceedings.
Martinez also made it clear to Ajax that he wanted to move to Manchester and personally rejected Arsenal’s approach, preventing a bidding war from taking place.
Personal terms have not been a problem, with a deal agreed, and Lisando Martinez will put pen to paper imminently.
His personal chef even dropped a hint that the deal was close to completion on Thursday, uploading an image of a ‘farewell dinner’ with the versatile centre-back to Instagram and asking United fans to ‘treat him well’.
Martinez will become the 20-times English champions second summer signing after Tyrell Malacia, though a deal for Frenkie de Jong is proving rather more complicated despite agreeing a fee with La Liga giants, Barcelona as the Dutchman does not want to depart from Camp Nou.