Arsenal have submitted an improved offer for Lisandro Martinez in a bid to beat Manchester United to the signing of the Ajax defender.
Martinez is at the centre of a transfer tug-of-war between the Premier League sides with both the Gunners and United keen to bring the centre-back to English football.
Arsenal have already seen an initial offer for the Argentina international turned down, but the Times are reporting an improved proposal of £34m has been submitted to the Dutch champions.
Mikel Arteta is continuing his overhaul of the north Londoners with a move for Martinez, whose versatility is an attractive trait for the Gunners with the defender comfortable at centre-back, left-back and in a defensive midfield role.
He has impressed across three campaigns with Ajax and was named as the club’s Player of the Season following their Eredivisie title triumph last season.
Erik ten Hag – who managed Martinez in Amsterdam last season – is also understood to be interested in bringing the defender to Manchester United, though the Red Devils’ immediate focus is on midfield additions and a pursuit of Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong.
Arsenal will hope their improved bid can win the race for Martinez, though their offer still falls below Ajax’s £43m valuation of the 24-year-old.
Ajax are under no pressure to sell following an exodus of players so far this summer. The Dutch side have seen both Noussair Mazraoui and Ryan Gravenberch leave for Bayern Munich, whilst Andre Onana is set to sign for Inter Milan on a free transfer.
Ajax have also agreed a deal to sell leading scorer Sebastien Haller to Borussia Dortmund in a €35m deal.