Arsenal expect Aston Villa to make a third bid for goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, but Leeds are delaying their plans to sign him, according to reports.
Martinez is considering a move away from Arsenal before the transfer window closes in the hope of finding enough regular gametime to earn an international call-up.
The 28-year-old was impressive when taking Bernd Leno’s place in the starting lineup after the German’s injury last season. However, Leno may return to being number one next season.
Despite Martinez starting instead of a fit-again Leno in the Community Shield recently, the Argentine still wants more guarantees over his playing time.
Martinez has already revealed that as many as 10 clubs are following him. Two of the most interested parties are clubs who could keep him in the Premier League – Aston Villa and Leeds.
Villa have already submitted two offers for the goalkeeper, both of which Arsenal rejected. Now, the Daily Mail say Villa could make a third offer.
Most recently, Villa put £15m on the table for Martinez – with Arsenal wanting £20m. However, the player’s stance may force the Gunners to admit defeat, as he has rejected their own offer of a contract extension.
Martinez’s contract will expire in 2022, but he wants to make sure he will receive regular starting opportunities before making a decision.
Villa could definitely offer him that, as Tom Heaton remains injured. Dean Smith is not convinced by either Orjan Nyland or Lovre Kalinic; Jed Steer is in line to start the first game of the season despite not having played since last November.
Leeds put Martinez plans on hold
Leeds United have also been weighing up a move for Martinez ahead of their return to the Premier League.
Kiko Casilla has not lived up to expectations at Elland Road, and Marcelo Bielsa could want a more experienced option to compete with Illan Meslier.
However, Football Insider claim that signing a new goalkeeper is not Leeds’ priority for this transfer window.
The Whites retain an interest in Martinez, but want to sign a new number 10 and a new centre-back first.
They have been chasing Rodrigo De Paul for the former position, and while Robin Koch has already arrived for the latter, they want another option there as well. Dinamo Zagreb’s Josko Gvardiol is a target.
Therefore, Leeds will wait until after those two deals to go in for Martinez. Meslier is likely to start their Premier League opener against Liverpool.
Unless Martinez arrives, Casilla could spend the season as number two at Elland Road. The report adds he will only leave if a club can match his £40,000-per-week wages; a return to La Liga is possible.
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