The latest word in the English media this evening suggests that Arsenal have decided to cash in on Emiliano Martinez this summer.
Leno’s status challenged
The previously simple goalkeeping situation in north London was made considerably more complicated over the final months of last season.
Bernd Leno had of course long stood as no.1 at the Emirates, with the German having represented one of Arsenal’s star men throughout the 2019/20 campaign.
Leno’s stellar form, however, was brought to a halt late in June, when the former Bayer Leverkusen man picked up a nasty knee injury during a Premier League defeat at Brighton.
This, in turn, opened the door for long-time Gunners backup Emiliano Martinez to step up to the plate.
And to say that this was an opportunity which the Argentine went on to grab with both hands would be putting it lightly.
The final weeks of the campaign saw Martinez dazzle between the sticks in north London, a key factor in Arsenal’s run to FA Cup glory.
‘Ready to cash in’
In fact, so impressive did Mikel Arteta’s no.2 look during his 11-game starting stretch, that Leno’s first-choice status had since been thrown into doubt ahead of next season.
Many have called for Martinez to be handed an extended chance to prove his talents at the Emirates, with the 27-year-old himself having confirmed that he is only willing to stay put if guaranteed a regular spot between the posts in north London.
And, as outlined above, this stance appears to have forced the hand of those in charge of transfers at Arsenal.
As confirmed by the reliable Adam Crafton of the The Athletic, the Gunners have come to the decision to move Martinez on this summer.
This comes with Mikel Arteta having made clear that Bernd Leno remains his first-choice goalkeeper.
Arsenal are said to have slapped a £20 million price-tag on Martinez, though the South American himself is hopeful of this asking price being reduced, to ensure a transfer comes to fruition.
Martinez’s desire to move on, meanwhile, comes with the shot-stopper eyeing up the no.1 jersey with Argentina.
🚨Ready to sell Emi Martinez
🚨Leno is Arteta No.1
🚨Raúl set £20m fee but EM hopes #afc will half demands
🚨🇪🇸 move likely
🚨#AFC owe Martinez 6/7 figure bonus agreed for delaying contract talks so long
🚨Wants regular football to be 🇦🇷 No.1https://t.co/b0UYs1usno
— Adam Crafton (@AdamCrafton_) August 28, 2020