Manchester United told Antony and Lisandro Martinez will cost £130m by Ajax

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Manchester United told Antony and Lisandro Martinez will cost £130m by Ajax - AFP
Manchester United told Antony and Lisandro Martinez will cost £130m by Ajax - AFP

Manchester United will be told they have to pay around £130 million if Erik ten Hag wants to sign Antony and Lisandro Martinez from his former club Ajax.

The duo have emerged as targets for United, who have still to complete their first summer signing, despite edging closer to the arrival of Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona.

Brazilian winger Antony and Argentine centre-half Martinez also feature on their former manager’s wish list although, unlike Barcelona, the Dutch club are under no pressure to sell either player.

Ajax value Antony, 22, at £70-80 million, and Martinez, 24, at £45-50 million.

Martinez is also a target for Arsenal, who appear to be in a stronger position than United, given that Ten Hag does not have an inexhaustible amount of money to spend on his under-performing squad in this window.

But, while Barcelona have financial limitations and a rebuild under way themselves, Ajax have no such issues and have made it clear in talks with Ten Hag, and United football director John Murtough, that it will take huge offers for them to sell.

While Ten Hag is known to be a huge admirer of Antony, whom he signed from Sao Paulo two summers ago, £80 million would use up too much of his transfer budget.

Ajax's Brazilian forward Antony (L) fights for the ball against Vitesse's Slovak midfielder Matus Bero during the Dutch Eredivisie - AFP
Ajax's Brazilian forward Antony (L) fights for the ball against Vitesse's Slovak midfielder Matus Bero during the Dutch Eredivisie - AFP

In any case, De Jong has always been Ten Hag’s primary target, and the midfield fulcrum around whom the Dutchman wants to build a new team and style of play. Indications remain that his transfer will be completed in the coming days.

Barcelona have held out, publicly, for an €80 million) fee (around £69 million) and, while United have tabled a bid of around €63 million, they are believed to be prepared to strike a deal that would be worth more if incentive clauses are met.

United also expect to hear from Denmark international Christian Eriksen this week over whether he will accept an offer, having come to the end of his short-term contract with Brentford. Everton, Newcastle United and Leicester City, as well as Brentford, have all reportedly tabled offers to the 30-year-old.

And talks remain ongoing with Fulham over midfielder Andreas Pereira, who has spent four of the past six seasons on loan and will be allowed to leave for £10 million.

Ten Hag, meanwhile, took his first day of training at the club’s Carrington training ground on Monday with 15 players, none of whom were involved in summer internationals, reporting for duty.

It was a low-key start, featuring a round of fitness tests rather than football work.

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