Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has revealed that defender Lisandro Martínez was the one who pushed for his move to Old Trafford in the summer, choosing that over Arsenal.

Martínez joined Manchester United in a €57.37m deal in the summer as one of several big signings made by Ten Hag during his first transfer window in Manchester.

It brought an end to a three year stay with Ajax, who he joined in a €7m deal from Defensa in Argentina.

He made over 120 appearances for the club in that time, establishing himself as a key player as they impressed in both the Eredivisie and the Champions League.

That was under Ten Hag’s leadership at the Dutch club, and it was felt that it was the Dutchman who pushed to sign him for Manchester United in the summer, particularly as that was the case with forward Antony.

Ten Hag refutes that, though, and insists it was actually the defender who wanted to make the move happen, and would have gone to Arsenal anyway.

“Whether I found it difficult to take Martínez away from Ajax?” he told Voetbal International.

“I had such a nice time there, how we experienced the process there together. From nothing, we brought Ajax back to the European top. That project has been so dear to me.

“But Martínez himself wanted to leave Ajax anyway. If we hadn’t taken him, he would have gone to Arsenal.

“They wanted him anyway; he was top priority there. Licha called me at one point: ‘Coach, listen, I’m leaving Ajax anyway. I can sign with Arsenal, but if you want me, I’ll go to Manchester United.’

“Then I thought: I shouldn’t shoot myself and United in the foot either. There was no way he would have stayed in Amsterdam, which was out of the question.”