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Ajax offers firm response to Man Utd on Antony and Lisandro Martinez transfer approaches

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EXCLUSIVE: Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has stepped up his interest in the players from former club Ajax and the Dutchman has been told of his chances of taking them to Old Trafford.

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Erik ten Hag lays out plans for Man Utd

Ajax will not let Erik ten Hag’s plan to rebuild Manchester United lead to a mass exodus of the players he left behind in Amsterdam.

United have been circling the Dutch club for transfers after Ten Hag drew up a wish list upon arrival in Manchester. The Ajax trio Jurrien Timber and Lisandro Martínez and Antony were part of his plans.

But Timber turned his back on United after refusing to jeopardize his place in the Netherlands’ World Cup squad following a warning from Dutch manager Louis van Gaal, and that has prompted the Reds to increase their interest in his Argentine defensive partner Martinez in recent years. days. Ajax have already rejected an offer from Arsenal in the region of £30m.

Antony, the Brazilian winger valued at over £50m, is another Ten Hag target. But Mirror Sport understands that the word inside Ajax is that they will not allow his former manager to destroy the team he built during his four-and-a-half-year reign. Ten Hag is likely to have to choose between Martinez and Antony, unless United make Ajax an offer too good to refuse.

Ajax doesn’t need the money. They are Champions League regulars again and are about to sell former West Ham striker Sebastian Haller to Borussia Dortmund for £30m, having already raised £16.6m when Ryan Gravenberch joined Bayern. from Munich. Munich also snapped up Noussair Mazraoui on a free transfer and Ajax do not want to hand over to new manager Alfred Schreuder a team that has been divested.

They have cashed in more than £350m over the course of the last four years letting the likes of Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt, Donny van de Beek and Hakim Ziyech walk away. Ten Hag left with well wishes from Ajax after winning three Eredivisie titles. Chief executive Edwin van der Sar also has a working relationship with his counterparts at Old Trafford after serving United so well as a goalkeeper under Sir Alex Ferguson.

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Manchester United are interested in Barcelona and Holland star Frenkie de Jong

But they won’t tolerate United dumping their most talented assets on the cheap. Ajax is resigned to losing either Martinez or Antony after Timber’s decision to stay, but not both. It would take a large financial offer to change that stance. And with Barcelona making it clear to United that they will have to hand over the bulk of Ten Hag’s budget to sign De Jong at an £80m rating; talks are ongoing between the clubs but there hasn’t been a breakthrough yet, he would need a major relaxation. of the strings of the Old Trafford stock market to make this happen.

CEO Richard Arnold was secretly filmed telling angry fans that money was not an issue in achieving Ten Hag’s goals. United don’t want to be ripped off after spending more than £1bn on the transfer market over the last decade. But the club’s supporters have already seen rivals Manchester City and Liverpool spend money. The 24-year-old Martinez made it clear to Ajax when he was linked with Arsenal that he couldn’t turn down the opportunity to play in the Premier League. Antony, 22, has also gone wild for United’s interest. But it might come down to which player Ten Hag wants the most. Meanwhile, United are still waiting for a response from Christian Eriksen, who offered the Danish midfielder the chance to join Ten Hag’s Old Trafford revolution.

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