Aston Villa Lodge ‘Substantially Improved’ Bid for Arsenal’s Emiliano Martínez



Aston Villa are keen on Emiliano Martinez | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Aston Villa have submitted a second bid for Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez which is understood to be close to the Gunners’ £20m asking price.

Martínez enjoyed an outstanding end to the season in place of the injured Bernd Leno and has since made no secret of his readiness to walk away from the Emirates Stadium if he is not guaranteed regular first-team minutes next year.

Emiliano MartinezMartinez doesn’t want another season on the bench | Pool/Getty Images

It is believed that Arsenal are prepared to stay loyal to Leno and reinstate the German to the starting lineup for the new season, which appears to spell the end for Martínez.

Villa submitted one bid of around £10m which was swiftly rejected, but The Athletic’s Gregg Evans now states that Dean Smith’s side are prepared to come a lot closer to the £20m which Arsenal are looking for.

Arsenal will let Martínez leave, but only if they can find a suitable replacement, and this is where the delay has come from.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta wants Brentford’s Spanish stopper David Raya, who counts as a homegrown player after spending time in the Blackburn Rovers academy, but the Bees are adamant that they will not sell the 24-year-old.

However, according to The Telegraph’s Sam Dean, Raya has told Brentford that he would be keen on making the move, although that hasn’t changed Brentford’s standpoint.

Martínez isn’t the only player whose future is up in the air. Defender Rob Holding is also believed to be nearing the exit door at the Emirates, with Newcastle United expected to sign him on loan, although Sky Sports News state that the Gunners are having second thoughts about letting Holding go.

Rob HoldingArsenal are hesitant to offload Holding | Henry Browne/Getty Images

Arsenal would prefer to sign a replacement if they were to allow the 24-year-old to leave, but with funds limited and so much focus on landing Atlético Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey, dealing with Holding’s future may have to take a back seat.

Arteta has already completed the signing of Gabriel Magalhães, while young William Saliba has finally arrived at the Emirates, meaning the club now have no less than eight centre-backs on the books right now, so expect plenty of movement between now and the end of the transfer window.

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