Manchester United’s signing of Lisandro Martinez is set to not only improve the Red Devils’ defensive options, but also deal rivals Manchester City a blow in the transfer market at the same time. Erik ten Hag’s side look to have beaten off Arsenal in the race for the Argentine and the transfer could also block their Manchester rivals from moving for one of their key targets this summer in the process.
After sanctioning the sale of Martinez to United, Ajax have named Rangers defender Calvin Bassey as their top priority to replace Martinez according to De Telegraaf but face competition from Brighton. The Scottish side are reportedly reluctant to let go of the Nigerian and have slapped a £25million price tag on the 22-year-old, which Ajax could now be able to pay after receiving the fee for Martinez.
Brighton may be viewing Bassey as a possible replacement for Marc Cucurella, who Manchester City have been interested in this summer but the Seagulls would be less inclined to agree a fee with Pep Guardiola’s side for the Spanish left-back if they are beaten to their replacement by Ajax with the money they received from City’s rivals.
Former Rangers striker Kris Boyd believes a potential Brighton move for Bassey would signal a domino effect at the top Premier League clubs. “I can’t help but think that this could maybe start a domino effect,” Boyd told Sky Sports News. “We’ve already seen [Oleksandr] Zinchenko linked with Arsenal and if I was Manchester City, I would go and give Brighton whatever they want for Cucurella.
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“I think he’s as good as anything in the Premier League. He suits their attacking style of play and, if that’s the case, Bassey could quite easily find himself being a starter at Brighton.”
However if the Nigerian international instead moves to the Eredivisie with Ajax, Cucurella may remain at the AMEX Stadium and City could be left looking at alternatives to fill the gap at full-back with Oleksandr Zinchenko linked with a move to Arsenal, or vetoing that move which could scupper Mikel Arteta’s transfer plans further, after losing out to United for Martinez.
Cucurella has been praised by Brighton boss Graham Potter for his professionalism, indicating it is unlikely that the 23-year-old will push for a move with four years left on his contract and chairman Tony Bloom has claimed that the club have received no bids for the Spaniard.
“Marc [Cucurella] is a tremendous player,” Bloom told BBC Radio Sussex. “A tremendous person. He’s brilliant for the dressing room. The players love him, Graham [Potter] and the coaches, love him, I love him, the fans love him.
“He was unbelievably good last season, his first season in the Premier League. We’re hoping for more to come and we haven’t had a bid for him.”