has revealed didn’t even bother entering into negotiations with Arsenal over a potential transfer in the summer.
The Gunners expressed interest in the Argentina international before switching their attentions to Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Arsenal transfer chief Edu indicated the north club were not prepared to meet Ajax’s valuation and ultimately signed a cheaper alternative in the former star.
Martinez has since gone on to achieve cult hero status at Old Trafford following a series of combative displays following his £56.7million move but it all could have been so different had Arsenal been prepared to enter a bidding war.
Ajax chief and former United goalkeeper Van der Sar told The Athletic: ‘Arsenal came earlier for Lisandro, but it was an amount where we said, ‘Thank you very much for the offer, but we’d rather keep the player than start negotiating’.
‘With United, it was a little bit different. Over the years we have had a few conversations: Daley Blind, Donny van de Beek.
‘My job is making sure I make the best decisions for Ajax.’
Martinez was not the only high-profile figure to make the switch from Ajax to United in the summer with manager Erik ten Hag and winger Antony also opting to take up the challenge of being part of a seismic rebuilding job.
Van der Sar added: ‘I spoke with United about Erik, with Richard Arnold. Erik did a fantastic job here, put Ajax back on the European map with the players we had.
‘You know in hindsight that managers like the players they work with, the type of football Erik wanted to play, and with Martinez there he has shown his worth now.
‘There were question marks initially, but the way he can read the game, how aggressive he is — what he doesn’t have in centimetres he makes up for in other qualities.’
On his own future Van der Sar, himself linked with a return to United as director of football, said: ‘I’ve been here 10 years, I enjoy my life here, I live right on the beach, half an hour from here.
‘It’s work, it’s hard, but it’s rewarding. We will see what happens in the future.’
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