Arsenal return to former defensive target following Martinez letdown

Arsenal have admitted defeat in their pursuit of Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez amid increased interest from Manchester United, and are reportedly set to rekindle an old transfer flame as they seek an alternative in the form of Mykola Matviyenko.

It was reported that Ajax were not keen to let Martinez leave this summer, but they have now changed their stance amid increased pressure to sell from both Manchester United and the player himself, who would like a move to the Premier League.

Any fee will be in excess of 50m euros (£43m), with the last offer around this mark from Erik ten Hag's new side having been rejected.

And such a high price tag has forced the Gunners to abandon their pursuit of the Argentine, with their attentions now turning elsewhere.

That is according to the Daily Mail, who report that 'United had been battling it out with Arsenal for the versatile Argentina defender, 24,  but it appears the Gunners have cooled their interest in him. They have turned their attention to Shakhtar Donetsk and Ukraine defender Mykola Matviyenko.'

Arsenal linked once more

Arsenal were linked with Mykola Matviyenko in Mikel Arteta's first transfer window in charge, when they were quoted a fee of around £30m to sign the then-23-year-old Ukrainian defender.

Capable of playing either as a left-back or a left-sided centre-back, he was eventually dropped as a target in favour of Pablo Mari, whom the Gunners signed for £7m that January.

Now contracted until 2025, the 26-year-old defender may be on the upper end of Arsenal's target age profile this summer, but could yet prove a valuable addition.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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