Arsenal have made a bid for Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez, as they remain interested in a lower-priority move for a left-centre-back.
The Athletic report that though it’s not a top priority, Arsenal are interested in a left-footed centre-back this summer to replace Pablo Mari.
Mari has been given permission to leave permanently, and at this stage, it seems it’s just a case of finding him a new club. Arsenal looked at Nico Schlotterbeck of Freiburg in January, but the German international wants to stay in Germany with Dortmund.
Instead, Arsenal have made enquiries after Ajax’s Lisandro Martinez, and they reportedly even have a €30m bid for the player rejected. Martinez himself is keen on the move.
It’s not expected that the signing of a player like Martinez would affect William Saliba’s future, as he’s primarily regarded by Arsenal as a right-centre-back.
Saliba will probably be competing with Ben White and Rob Holding for starts.
It’s on the other side where Arsenal are a little short, with the only real backups to Gabriel Magalhaes being right-footers like Holding (again) or Takehiro Tomiyasu – who does play left-centre-back for Japan but is needed at right-back under Mikel Arteta.
Martinez can play at left-centre-back and also at left-back, so he’d offer cover in multiple positions where Arsenal have been short lately.
If Mari leaves, it would probably be a good idea for Arsenal to bring a player in to compete with Gabriel.
The Gunners could get by without a signing in the position either way, but if there’s an opportunity in the market, it’s one worth pursuing.
24-year-old Martinez made 36 appearances for Ajax last season. He’s a strong passer, good in the air, and he earned positive reviews for his performances as his team won the Eredivisie title again this year.