Lisandro Martinez: Edwin van der Sar confirms Arsenal were given ‘firm no’ over summer transfer

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Edwin van der Sar has confirmed that Ajax wasted little time in rejecting Arsenal’s summer bid for centre-back Lisandro Martinez before his eventual move to Manchester United.

The Argentine has had a difficult start to life in England but has enjoyed some excellent performances in recent weeks and lived up to the expectations that came with his £56.7m summer move from Amsterdam.

Ajax planned to keep hold of Martinez following the departure of manager Erik ten Hag to United and Van der Sar has now admitted Arsenal’s offer was rejected earlier in the window.

“It was our view that they should stay another year,” he told The Times of Martinez and winger Antony, who also eventually moved to United.

“We gave a firm ‘no’ to Arsenal when he was the first for Lisander; we fought hard to keep him.”

Arsenal have refused to look for an alternative to Martinez, but their defense has been boosted by the return of Frenchman William Saliba from his loan spell at Marseille.

Alongside Gabriel Magalhaes, who recently signed a new long-term contract, Saliba has inspired Arsenal to the top of the Premier League, two points ahead of reigning champions Manchester City.

The Gunners have the second best defense in the league, behind only Newcastle, and are level with City and Chelsea on 11 goals conceded.

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