Aston Villa prepare £10m offer for Arsenal goalkeeper Emi Martinez

Argentine impressed last season following the injury of first-choice Gunners shotstopper Bernd Leno

Miguel Delaney
Chief Football Writer
Saturday 29 August 2020 12:09 BST
William Saliba makes debut for Arsenal

Aston Villa are preparing a £10million offer for Arsenal goalkeeper Emi Martinez.

The Argentine impressed for the Gunners following the Premier League’s restart this spring as he stepped in for the injured Bernd Leno.

Leno, Mikel Arteta’s first-choice keeper, sustained a knee injury against Brighton in June, and it was initially feared that he could miss as many as nine months of action.

While the German recovered more quickly than expected – and could even start in today’s Community Shield against Premier League champions Liverpool – Martinez’s strong showings over the past several months suggested the 27-year-old could actually replace Leno in Arsenal’s starting line-up in the future.

That no longer seems to be the case, however, with reports emerging this week that the Gunners may be willing to let Martinez leave.

And Villa, who narrowly avoided relegation from the Premier League on the final day of the season, are ready to take advantage of that fact.

They are preparing a £10m bid for the goalkeeper, though it is thought that Arsenal could want as much as double that for the Argentine’s services.

Tom Heaton was Dean Smith’s first-choice keeper last term, but the 34-year-old is still recovering from a knee injury that he picked up in January.

That injury saw Villa draft in former Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina on loan from AC Milan, with Orjan Nyland also appearing for Smith’s side.

Reina, 37, returned to Milan at the end of the season before completing a transfer to Lazio this week.

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