Recent reports suggest that Manchester United are back-tracking in their pursuit of Pau Torres on the orders of manager Erik ten Hag. The Dutch manager has prohibited the club from signing the Spanish centre-back this summer.
The Red Devils are still in the market as they look to bring in a new centre-back and a midfielder. United have most popularly been in contact with Ajax’s Lisandro Martinez, a former Ten Hag player while the club had previously shown interest in Villarreal’s Pau Torres.
Pau Torres had been identified as one of United’s primary targets this summer, with the Spaniard looking to ply his trade in the Premier League. The player’s representatives had been in contact with Man United with the transfer being “discussed and negotiated” and they may have travelled to Manchester to negotiate a fee.
The 25-year-old appeared in Villarreal’s historic match-up against Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals of the recently concluded 2021/22 campaign. However, the Spanish side lost the tie. They even failed to make it to the Champions League or the Europa League for the upcoming season which has put a lot of strain on their finances and has prompted the top players to look for European football opportunities elsewhere.
The Villarreal defender was deemed as one of the primary defensive targets this summer, but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. According to Mirror, Erik ten Hag has vetoed the Man United board’s decision to finalise the deal for Pau Torres. The gaffer has asked to suspend any further progress in the deal in order to push the club’s recruitment department towards the versatile defender, Lisandro Martinez.
The Ajax defender has played under Ten Hag for a total of 3 seasons after arriving from the Argentinian club, Defensa y Justicia, for around €7 million. The Argentine has enjoyed a fruitful stint with the Eredivisie champions but is now looking for a different experience. Martinez is tempted to reunite with his former manager at Old Trafford. However, the Red Devils face stiff competition from Premier League rivals, Arsenal.
Manchester United have still no full agreement with Ajax for Lisandro Martinez. New bid worth €50m, not enough yet – but talks will continue as Lisandro wants to try Premier League experience this summer. 🔴 #MUFC
Next days will be crucial to understand Ajax final position. pic.twitter.com/oXnKtwtxwK
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 10, 2022
According to transfer expert, Fabrizio Romano, United’s recent bid of €50 million for Martinez was rejected by Ajax. The defender wants to experience the Premier League and will eventually decide between the two competitors in United and Arsenal.
The current United outfit features captain Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, and Victor Lindelof. Other defenders such as Eric Bailly and Phil Jones have been deemed surplus to requirement and may be sold to slim out the current side.
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The Red Devils have suffered several blunders in their central defence as club captain Harry Maguire went through one of the worst seasons of his career while his French compatriot, Varane, suffered a host of injuries which meant that he never really got going at Old Trafford.
A little on the smaller side, Martinez is an adept and extremely intelligent centre-back capable of stopping attackers much bigger than him. Despite doubts amongst fans in England, a signing such as Martinez could prove to be beneficial in the long run. Providing the new boss with players he knows and understands will help the team adopt his methods very quickly too.
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