Edwin van der Sar has opened up on Arsenal’s summer pursuit of Lisandro Martinez, and Manchester United’s subsequent signing of the Argentine.
Martinez has quickly established himself as one of United’s most important players in the early days of the Erik ten Hag era, overcoming a difficult start to the season to prove himself as an asset for his new club.
But things could’ve been a lot different had Arsenal got their way earlier in the summer transfer window, having shown an interest in signing the defender from Ajax before United got the deal done.
Van der Sar, who serves as chief executive at Ajax, told The Athletic of the Gunners’ failed pursuit: “Arsenal came earlier for Lisandro, but it was an amount where we said, ‘Thank you very much for the offer, but we’d rather keep the player than start negotiating’.
“With United, it was a little bit different,” he added: “Over the years we have had a few conversations: Daley Blind, Donny van de Beek.
“My job is making sure I make the best decisions for Ajax.”
Martinez ended up penning a five-year deal with the Red Devils in a deal worth up to £57 million, with Van der Sar sanctioning the sale to his former employers with a higher offer presented.
United would return to do business with Ajax later in the window, parting with an even larger £86m fee to prize Brazilian winger Antony away from the club.