Arsenal have seven immediate alternatives if they can’t complete £52m transfer in the next two days

Arsenal have seven immediate alternatives if they can’t complete £52m transfer in the next two days.


Arsenal may have to start looking at alternatives to Lisandro Martinez amid claims that Manchester United are confident of winning the race to sign the defender.

It’s looking increasingly unlikely that Arsenal will win the race to sign Lisandro Martinez amid talk that Manchester United are confident of securing the Ajax defender’s signature.

That is according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano: “Manchester United are now feeling confident on Lisandro Martínez deal,” he said on Twitter. “Ajax are open to discuss on the fee, new contacts expected very soon after bid rejected last week. Lisandro, pushing again with Ajax to leave the club this summer.”

In terms of the fee, it had been widely reported that Ajax were holding out for €50million (£43million), having already rejected a couple of bids from Arsenal earlier in the window. However, according to De Telegraaf (via Metro ), the Dutch champions have raised their valuation to £52m.

Now, the reason for the Gunners’ reported interest in Martinez has because of his ability to play in multiple positions. So not only could he act as cover for Kieran Tierney at left-back, but he could also be the left-sided centre-back if Gabriel Magalhaes was out or operated in the defensive midfield role.

But with Man United said to be confident of reuniting the Argentina international with Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu will soon have to start looking elsewhere to improve the first-team squad before the summer transfer window slams shut.

Of course, it’s very easy to suggest turning to the plan b option in the transfer market. Although some of the solutions could have been staring Arteta right in the face during last week’s training camp in Germany, and it might be the case when the squad travels to the USA for their second overseas pre-season tour.

With regards to left-back cover and competition for Tierney, Arteta could have a change of heart over Nuno Tavares – who has been linked with a loan move away this summer – and stick with the Portugal U21 international or take a massive gamble by promoting 17-year-old Lino Sousa.

The youngster, who is regarded as one of the most highly rated left-backs in England, arrived in North London during the January window and, in a short space of time, has already broken into the under-23 side and trained with the senior team. After being included in the pre-season training camp in Germany, Arteta can take a closer look at Sousa by naming him in the USA tour squad.

Two other internal solutions to save Arsenal millions of pounds this summer are the returning William Saliba, as despite predominately being right-footed, he has operated on the left-hand side in a central defensive pairing on numerous occasions during loan spells at Nice as well as Marseille and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

As spotted by some Gunners supporters on Reddit, the 24-year-old may have hinted at a change of heart regarding his future as he has been expected to leave this summer. In the event that he does end up staying, he can be an option at left-back and in central midfield.

Meanwhile, external solutions include as many as three potential new signings. The first of which is Benfica’s Alex Grimaldo amid claims as per A Bola, that the Gunners have submitted a €7m (£5.9m) bid for the left-back who would be a like-for-like replacement for Tierney.

Whereas the two players most similar to Martinez in terms of versatility are Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko and PSV Eindhoven’s Olivier Boscagli. The former has impressed under Pep Guardiola at left-back and in central midfield, so this could be one for Arteta and Edu to revisit as links have gone quiet in recent weeks.

As for Boscagli, he is capable of playing in exactly the same positions as Martinez and, perhaps crucially, stands a few inches taller than the Argentine.



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