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'Arsenal came earlier for Lisandro' - Van der Sar explains how Man Utd beat Gunners to Martinez

5:42 am AEDT 19/11/22
Lisandro Martinez Manchester United 2022-23
Edwin van der Sar has revealed that Ajax turned down an offer from Arsenal for Lisandro Martinez before the defender joined Manchester United.
  • Martinez joined Man Utd in £46.5m deal
  • Argentine star has impressed for Red Devils
  • But Arsenal tried to sign him first

WHAT HAPPENED? Martinez joined United from the Dutch champions in a £46.5 million ($53m) move in the summer, but Ajax CEO Van der Sar says that he could have ended up at Arsenal at one point.

WHAT THEY SAID: “Arsenal came earlier for Lisandro, but it was an amount where we said: ‘Thank you very much for the offer, but we’d rather keep the player than start negotiating’," he told The Athletic. “With United, it was a little bit different. Over the years we have had a few conversations: Daley Blind, Donny van de Beek. My job is making sure I make the best decisions for Ajax."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Martinez has been a standout performer at Old Trafford since reuniting with his former Ajax manager Erik ten Hag. The Argentina international has started all 14 of his side's Premier League matches this term and was recently compared to Red Devils legend Nemanja Vidic.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR MARTINEZ? The 24-year-old will feature at the World Cup with Argentina this year, with their campaign starting against Saudi Arabia on November 22.