Manchester United have won the race to sign Lisandro Martinez from Ajax after making a breakthrough in negotiations earlier this week. Erik ten Hag made the Argentina international a top priority following his arrival at Old Trafford and is now a "matter of hours" from landing his second signing.

Arsenal were initially touted as the frontrunners for the Ajax defender and even had two bids turned down by the Eredivisie club. Ten Hag then persuaded United to step up their interest and outbid Arsenal to bring the Argentine to Manchester this summer.

While Mikel Arteta remains a big admirer of the versatile defender, the north London club cooled their interest instead of entering a bidding war. Ajax upped the price from the initial €50 million they were demanding to €55 million, which United accepted.

According to De Telegraaf's Mike Verweij, United agreed to meet Ajax's demands and the Eredivisie club has now accepted their offer of €55 million including bonuses. The Red Devils have already agreed terms with Martinez, who has been pushing for a move to the Premier League.

Lisandro Martinez
Lisandro Martinez is expected to become a Manchester United player in the coming days. ANP SPORT / Maurice van STEEN

The United hierarchy travelled to Amsterdam earlier in the week to hold personal talks with Ajax. After intense negotiations, an agreement has been reached between the two clubs, according to Italian transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, who says a deal is now close to being completed.

"All parties involved in the Lisandro Martínez deal are convinced that it's just 'matter of hours and final details' to complete the agreement between Manchester United and Ajax," Romano wrote. "Feeling into Man Utd is that meeting in Amsterdam was the key step - deal at final stage."

United's Dutch coach is overseeing a rebuild at Old Trafford following a number of summer exits. Feyenoord left-back Tyrell Malacia was Ten Hag's first signing, and plenty more are expected to arrive in the coming weeks with midfield the main area of focus for the former Ajax boss.

The Red Devils are currently on their pre-season tour of Australia where they will play three games against Melbourne Victory, Crystal Palace and Aston Villa. Ten Hag's squad will then play one game against Atletico Madrid in Norway before returning to Old Trafford for their final pre-season game against Rayo Vallecano.

Frenkie de Jong
Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong (R) is a priority target for Manchester United LLUIS GENE/AFP