Lisandro Martinez

Manchester United are stepping up talks with Ajax over Lisandro Martinez as they look to head off competition from Arsenal.

An Ajax delegation of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and technical manager Gerry Hamstra were in London at the weekend following United’s bid of £38million for Lisandro, the structure of which offered Ajax more guaranteed cash than that of Arsenal’s similar £38m proposal.

Ajax want £43m for their Argentine centre back and Arsenal plan another offer this week but United have re-opened talks too as they look to wrap up Lisandro’s signing in time for him to go on tour this Friday.

As Sportsmail revealed, the 24-year old has made it clear to Ajax that he wishes to leave and play in the Premier League next season.

While respectful of what Ajax have done for him, he does not wish to let the opportunity of a move to the Premier League pass and staying in Amsterdam next season is not an option for him.

He has told the club that reaching an agreement soon, with either United or Arsenal, will be the most beneficial solution for all parties.

Arsenal have had two offers rejected with their last, coming in at £34m plus add-ons up to £38m.

United countered with a £35.3m plus guaranteed add-ons to £38m but have the added pull of coach Erik ten Hag, who struck up a strong rapport with Lisandro during his tenure with the Dutch champions.

United will confirm the £13m signing of Feyenoord left back Tyrell Malacia today and continue talks over the structure of payment for Frenkie de Jong’s transfer from Barcelona.

But they were dealt a blow on Saturday when news emerged that Cristiano Ronaldo wishes to leave the club if they receive a suitable offer for him in the summer.

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