> Lisandro Martinez enjoys Italian restaurant in Manchester – as defender waits for £55m United move

Lisandro Martinez enjoys Italian restaurant in Manchester – as defender waits for £55m United move

United’s £55m new boy Lisandro Martinez enjoys an Italian dinner with his girlfriend in Manchester city centre as he waits for his move from Ajax to be officially confirmed before he joins up with Erik ten Hag’s squad

  • Lisandro Martinez has been pictured leaving an Italian restaurant in Manchester
  • Martinez attended Don Giovanni with girlfriend Muri Lopez in the city centre
  • The Argentine, 24, is shortly set to complete a move to Erik ten Hag’s Man United
  • A £55million move from Ten Hag’s former club Ajax is yet to be officially sealed
  • The Red Devils play their last two pre-season fixtures on Saturday and Sunday 

Lisandro Martinez has been snapped leaving an Italian restaurant in Manchester as the final details of his move to Manchester United are confirmed. 

United agreed a £55million deal to sign the Argentine from Ajax earlier this month, with Martinez set to sign a five-year contract worth £120,000-a-week and the option of another year.

With the transfer not yet being confirmed as the last aspects are finalised, Martinez is staying in the plush five-star Lowry Hotel and made the short trip across Manchester to eat at the Don Giovanni eatery.

Prospective Manchester United signing Lisandro Martinez (right) was pictured leaving the Don Giovanni Italian restaurant in Manchester on Monday night ahead of his move to the Red Devils

The Argentine star is shortly set to seal a £55million move from Ajax to Erik ten Hag's side

The Argentine star is shortly set to seal a £55million move from Ajax to Erik ten Hag’s side

The versatile star, who can play in defence or midfield, went out with girlfriend Muri Lopez and was clearly intent on not being spotted by fans as he sported a black hoodie with the hood up, black trousers and black shoes.

The Premier League club will hope the deal is rubber-stamped as soon as possible, with first-team stars returning to Carrington training ground on Tuesday to continue pre-season preparation after Monday’s day off following their tour abroad. 

Martinez, 24, spent three years with Dutch champions Ajax after moving from Argentina-based side Defensa y Justicia in summer 2019.

He won the club’s Player of the Year award last season under Dutch manager Ten Hag, who also moved to Old Trafford this summer and took one of his most trusted lieutenants with him. 

Martinez, 24, was clearly intent on not being spotted in a black hoodie and black trousers

United will pay an initial £46.8m plus £8.5m in add-ons, making Martinez the second most expensive defender in the club’s history after Harry Maguire. 

A club statement from United read: ‘Manchester United is delighted to announce the club has reached agreement with Ajax for the transfer of Argentine international defender Lisandro Martinez, subject to medical, to player terms being finalised, and to UK visa requirements.’  

United moved for him after missing out on signing his Ajax team-mate Jurrien Timber earlier this summer. The Dutchman opted to stay in Amsterdam due to having concerns about his playing time heading into this year’s World Cup.

Martinez quickly became the Red Devils’ main target, although they initially faced competition for his signature from Arsenal.

Lisandro Martinez is heading for Old Trafford after Man United and Ajax reached an agreement

He is set to be reunited with boss Erik ten Hag (right) after the pair worked together at Ajax

He is set to be reunited with boss Erik ten Hag (right) after the pair worked together at Ajax

Martinez is now the second most expensive defender in United's history behind Harry Maguire

Martinez is now the second most expensive defender in United’s history behind Harry Maguire

However, United quickly moved ahead of the Gunners in the race, and when Martinez informed Ajax that he wanted to move to the Premier League club it seemed like only a matter of time before he got his wish.

Martinez will join a pool of four senior centre-backs at Old Trafford that includes Maguire, Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof. 

He is the only left-footed player out of that quartet, which could add greater balance to Ten Hag’s back line. United will listen to offers for Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe. 

United play their final two pre-season fixtures on Saturday and Sunday against Atletico Madrid in Oslo, Norway and Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford respectively before the new campaign begins.

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