Man United: Lisandro Martinez boards a plane to Manchester ahead of £46m move, in Erik ten Hag boost

On his way! Lisandro Martinez boards a plane to Manchester ahead of sealing £46m switch to Man United on the same day Christian Eriksen pens three-year deal – as Erik ten Hag FINALLY starts to land top targets

Lisandro Martinez is jetting in to Manchester before completing a £46million transfer to Manchester United – on the same day the club signed Christian Eriksen.

Sportsmail reported on Thursday that the Red Devils agreed the structure of the deal for the defender with Dutch club Ajax.

And Argentine Martinez has boarded a plane and is now on his way to seal the formalities before officially confirming his move to Old Trafford. 

Martinez was pictured on social media with his representative Cristian Bragarnik on a flight to the northern city, with the caption: ‘Rumbo a Manchester @lisandromartinez,’ translated to English as ‘Heading to Manchester’.

The versatile 24-year-old, who predominantly plays centre half despite being 5ft 9ins but can also cover left-back and defensive midfield, worked with new United boss Erik ten Hag at his former club Ajax.

Martinez missed Ajax training on Thursday as the clubs ironed out the structure of payments on the £46million transfer and he is now ready to link up with his new team mates in Australia. 

Lisandro had made it clear to his team he wanted to fulfil his dream of moving to the Premier League this summer and will now reunite with his former boss ten Hag, with whom he has a strong bond. 

United director of football John Murtough and chief executive Richard Arnold held extensive talks with Ajax counterparts Edwin van der Sar, Gerry Hamstra and Klaas Jan Huntelaar on Wednesday before returning to Manchester. Further talks followed on Thursday to iron out finer details and a deal is now in place. 

Martinez’ determination to make the move happen was key, with Ajax initially reluctant to sell the star, who was the club’s player of the year last season.

They rebuffed offers from Arsenal and United at first but Lisandro intervened when it became clear United were serious in their pursuit and the player received assurances from Ten Hag. 

Lisandro, whose idol is former United defender Gabriel Heinze, has won three league titles since joining in 2019 from Defensa y Justicia.

Though not the tallest centre-back, Lisandro reads the game well, is good in one-on-one situations and an astute passer of the ball, and former United defender Jaap Stam believes he could excel in holding midfield.

‘What’s important is that a defender has cleverness,’ said Stam. ‘Lisandro Martinez has developed that. In England, there are a lot of fast attackers who are merciless in counters. 

‘So what is important is that a defender is smart and clever. But because Martinez is comfortable on the ball he can also play in front of the defence. And I don’t rule out that Ten Hag will use him there.’