Barcelona are reportedly monitoring AFC Ajax centre-back Lisandro Martinez. The Catalan giants could launch a move for the Argentine defender this summer.
According to the Spanish publication Sport via universal boat, Ajax value Martinez at around €32m. Considering the BlaugranaDue to financial issues, the club are unlikely to sign the 23-year-old in the current transfer window.
The report also added that Martinez has a verbal agreement in place with Ajax not to block his exit should a lucrative offer arrive. It should also be noted that the Dutch club and Barcelona enjoy a good relationship due to their dedication to Johan Cruyff’s ideologies. The Catalans recently signed Sergino Dest from Ajax in the summer of 2020.
Signing a new centre-back is an absolute necessity for Xavi Hernandez’s side. Barcelona have plenty of young talent in their forward and midfield departments, but desperately need new blood at the heart of their defence.
Gerard Pique turns 35 next month, while Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet’s time at Camp Nou has been derailed by inconsistencies and injuries. Although Barcelona have Eric Garcia and Ronald Araujo, they will want to add a third young centre-back to revitalize their defence.
Lisandro Martinez could be a good choice for Barcelona
Martinez came through the ranks of Argentine club Newell’s Old Boys before joining Defensa in the country’s Premier League. The centre-back made 57 appearances for the club in the 2018-19 season before joining Ajax in the summer of 2019.
Martinez had big shoes to fill after joining the Dutch giants following the departure of Matthijs de Ligt. The Argentine has become a fixture in the starting lineup, making 41 appearances for Ajax in his debut season.
He went on to feature 42 times in the 2020-21 campaign, helping his side to the Eredivisie title, the Dutch Cup and the Dutch Super Cup. Although Martinez was also part of Argentina’s 2021 Copa America-winning squad, he only made one appearance in the group stage.
In total, the 23-year-old has made 107 appearances for Ajax. He also has a knack for scoring goals, having found the back of the net six times so far. Martinez is a solid physical presence, extremely composed on the ball and a smart passer. The Argentine can also operate in central midfield.
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These characteristics mean he could be a great signing for Barcelona, who are looking to build their squad around talented youngsters.