Ajax technical director Gerry Hamstra has revealed Lisandro Martinez was keen on joining Manchester United this summer because he saw it as a chance of a lifetime.
Hamstra also admitted it was too difficult for Ajax to turn down the offer from the Red Devils because the amount involved was high.
“We really didn’t want to lose Martínez, but with such high transfer amounts, everyone understands how it works. We all have our ambitions at Ajax,” Hamstra said.
“Then six starting players can’t suddenly leave either. Only this year we had to deal with a combination of circumstances.
“The one-on-one replacements cost more than the guys you get to grow a year behind someone.
“The ideal [scenario] would have been if we had someone standing behind Lisandro, and Lisandro had stayed another year.”
“We had a conversation again after his vacation. In it, Lisandro clearly indicated that he still wanted to take the step
“It became increasingly clear that a longer stay was no longer feasible because we are simply not at the top of the food chain,” the director explained.
“And then you go on as we have our own ambitions and want to aim high again this season.
“While everyone said a few years ago after a draw at Benfica: ‘that’s a good result’, there is no disappointment.
“So, if you want to take that next step, you actually have to keep these kinds of players.
“Lisandro has developed a lot with us for three years, has become champion three times, and now felt this step was the chance of a lifetime. He indicated that. We also understood that.”