Erik ten Hag ignored the advice of Manchester United’s board and scouting department in order to agree a £57m move for Ajax player Lisandro Martinez.
The Red Devils confirmed on Sunday that they had reached an agreement to sign the Argentina star, with United set to pay an initial fee of £47m, with another £10m in achievable add-ons.
Martinez spent two years under Ten Hag in Amsterdam, playing in defensive midfield, center back and left-back.
The 24-year-old became one of Ten Hag’s most trusted players but at 5ft9 and in possession of a slender frame, there are huge doubts over Martinez’s compatibility with English football.
Signing a central defender had initially not been a priority this summer given the other areas of the team that require urgent attention, such as central midfield.
But once Ten Hag made it clear that he wanted a new centre-back, United’s scouting department produced a number of top targets and advised a move for Villarreal’s Pau Torres.
But, according to the Telegraph, Ten Hag disagreed with the suggestion – perhaps because of Torres’ lack of pace that is needed to play a high line.
Ten Hag instead instructed his board to move for Martinez, despite knowing that Ajax would ask for a higher fee for the Argentine.
Martinez, United’s third signing of the summer after Tyrell Malacia and Christian Eriksen, will wait for the team to return from Australia before linking up with his new team-mates.
It was felt that a journey down-under was not really worth it at this stage of the tour, given the time difference jetlag involved with the trip.
Martinez turned down a move to Arsenal in order to move to Old Trafford. Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta viewed the Argentine as a left-back, particularly given his many options in central defence.
However, though Martinez is willing to play there, he prefers midfield or centre-back.