Aston Villa are ‘hopeful’ of signing Emiliano Martinez after having an improved offer of around £20m accepted for the Arsenal goalkeeper.
Martinez enjoyed a hugely impressive second half of the season after replacing the injured Bernd Leno, and is now keen to secure regular first-team football after flourishing at Premier League level.
Leno looks set to return to the Arsenal side for tomorrow’s Premier League opener at Fulham and the German’s return to full fitness is now likely to lead to Martinez’s departure, with Aston Villa keen to secure the signing of the goalkeeper with Tom Heaton ruled out until mid-October with a knee injury.
According to the Telegraph, Dean Smith’s side have agreed an initial fee of £15m which will rise in instalments, the club ‘hopeful’ that Martinez will become their third signing of the summer after the acquisitions of Matty Cash and Ollie Watkins from Nottingham Forest and Brentford respectively.
Martinez has two years remaining on his contract at the Emirates and despite wanting him to stay, the Gunners will allow the 28-year-old to depart in search of regular opportunities, with Mikel Arteta needing to raise funds for the club’s pursuits of Houssem Aouar and Thomas Partey.
Villa are without a fixture this weekend and start their Premier League campaign against Sheffield United on September 21, where Martinez will be expected to feature should a deal be concluded in the coming days.
The goalkeeper’s departure will likely see Arsenal dip into the transfer market for a replacement, however, with Brentford’s David Raya a reported target for the north London side as they seek a deputy for Leno.
Third-choice shot-stopper Matt Macey is also set to leave after informing the club of his desire for regular first-team football, the 26-year-old having made just two first-team appearances in six season with the Gunners.