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Ten Hag says €57m Man Utd signing urged him to hijack Arsenal bid

Erik ten Hag
© Manchester United FC

The head coach has revealed how the Red Devils got the jump on Arsenal for Lisandro Martinez’s signature in the summer.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has revealed Lisandro Martinez urged him to hijack Arsenal’s attempts to sign him.

The 24-year-old Argentina international choose to end a three-year spell with Ajax in the summer, shortly after Ten Hag left the record 36-time Dutch champions for Manchester United.

Talks with Arsenal evidently reached an advanced stage. However, in a phone call with Ten Hag, Martinez offered his former Ajax boss first refusal on him, which United took up. The Reds completed a reported €57 million deal for the defender, who signed a contract until 2027.

“It was Martinez himself who wanted to leave Ajax,” Ten Hag told Voetbal International about the summer transfer.

“If we had not taken him, he would have gone to Arsenal. They wanted him anyway; he was the No. 1 priority there. Licha [Martinez] called me at one point and said, “Boss, listen, I’m leaving Ajax anyway. I can sign with Arsenal but if you want me, I’ll come to Manchester United!”

“So then I thought that I shouldn’t shoot myself in the foot, or United either. He really wasn’t going to stay in Amsterdam, that was out of the question. So then we struck [a deal] and everything worked out.”

Martinez has since formed a partnership with Raphael Varane in central defense, making 21 appearances across all competitions for United this season.

The 2022 World Cup winner is unlikely to be available for the club’s EFL Cup Round of 16 clash with Burnley on Wednesday. For match details and betting tips, visit this link here on Ace Football.