Arsenal have stolen a march on Manchester United by submitting an improved offer of around £34.5million for Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez.
The Argentina centre-back, who is also capable of playing in defensive midfield, is a target for Erik ten Hag following Jurien Timber’s decision to reject a move to Old Trafford.
However, United are fully focused on a move for Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong and they’ve left the door ajar for Arsenal to make inroads with Martinez.
Having discussed a deal worth around £25m earlier in the summer, Dutch publication De Telegraaf report that Arsenal have now submitted a bid in the region of £34.4m with add-ons.
Ajax have not yet responded to the offer for Martinez but they are holding out for around £43m and had been planning for next season with the Argentine.
The Dutch giants could now use United’s interest to ramp up the price for the centre-back, who is keen on moving to the Premier League.
There has been speculation over Gabriel’s future at Arsenal, with Juventus reportedly keen on the Brazilian.
But with William Saliba set to stay at the Emirates this season, Arteta has a wealth of options in the centre of his defence.
Ten Hag wants two ball-playing centre-backs that are comfortable in bringing the ball out from defence and are confident at being left one-on-one.
While Harry Maguire is one of the best in the league in possession, he lacks the pace needed to play a high line and Ten Hag would ideally like a quicker partner alongside Raphael Varane.
Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe are all expected to leave the club.