Gunners chase Ajax defender as summer spending goes on

With Gabriel Jesus set to join, Lisandro Martinez may be next signing for Gunners

Friday, 1st July — By Steve Barnett

Arsenal jab 2

ARSENAL look set to continue their summer spending after reportedly submitting another bid for Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez.

It was rumoured last week that the Gunners had seen a £25m offer for the 24-year-old centre-back rejected, with the Dutch champions valuing the player at nearer £45m.

But far from being deterred, it is thought that the north Londoners have returned with an improved bid in the region of £35m as they look to beat Manchester United to the Argentine’s signature.

As it stands, Arsenal will take their outlay to £87m and counting when they finally unveil Gabriel Jesus as their fourth signing of the window. The Gunners have completed a £45m deal for the Manchester City forward, and the 25-year-old Brazilian international passed his medical and finalised personal terms on Tuesday.

Landing Jesus – who is believed to have signed a contract until 2027 – has certainly impressed Gunners legend Paul Merson.

“I like what Arsenal have done to get that [deal] over the line,” he told Sky Sports.

“I think they’re in for a good season. There’s a project going on and they’ll be fighting for fourth place with Man United and Tottenham.

“If they can get into the Champions League and have a good cup run – the Europa League is winnable – with the squad they’re building they’ve got a chance of getting some silverware this season.”

Arsenal have already signed midfielder Fabio Vieira from Porto, young winger Marquinhos from Sao Paulo and goalkeeper Matt Turner from MLS side New England Revolution. The cash isn’t only expected to flow in one direction, however.

Arsenal are expected to recoup around £10m by selling Matteo Guendouzi to Marseille, and the club could bring in another £70m-plus if they managed to successfully trim their squad. German goalkeeper Bernd Leno could fetch in the region of £10m, while there is also still hope of clawing back around £25m of the £72m spent on record signing Nicolas Pepe.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Rob Holding, Hector Bellerin, Pablo Mari and Reiss Nelson are also all among the names expected to be heading towards the Emirates exit.

But clearing out the dressing room won’t be easy, as the saga surrounding Lucas Torreira is proving. The Uruguayan midfielder revealed this week that there is “no chance” of him staying at Arsenal – and he is hoping that someone will come in and meet the club’s £13m asking price.

Torreira spent last season on loan with Fiorentina but the Italian club have ruled out making the deal permanent.

With a year left on his current contract, Torreira told El Telegrafo: “We are having conversations with many teams.”

Related Articles