Questions over Emiliano Martinez’s future could come to a head in the coming week as the Argentine goalkeeper awaits an indication from Arsenal as to what role he will play in the new season.
Aston Villa are in pole position to secure Martinez’s signature should he choose to depart, they can offer him the first team football that he craves at Arsenal.
The Gunners would ideally like to keep Martinez and are prepared to offer him a new contract that will come with a significant pay rise on his £25,000-a-week salary. However it is not money that motivates the 28-year-old, something Arsenal are acutely aware of.
Martinez wants the regular first team football he has never got during 10 years at the club but to do so he must establish himself over Bernd Leno, who has recovered from the injury that handed the Argentine a run of games in which he excelled.
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Next summer’s Copa America in his homeland looms large in Martinez’s thinking and he is as keen to earn the Argentina No.1 jersey as he is to do the same at Arsenal. He knows that staying put at the Emirates Stadium without clear guarantees from Mikel Arteta could cost him both.
Dialogue between Arsenal, Martinez and his representatives has been consistent throughout the summer with the club reaffirming their desire to keep him. So far they are yet to offer sufficient guarantees for the 28-year-old to recommit.
“I have shown the club that I can play for them and when I return next season I need to have more games,” Martinez said last month. “That is the only way I will stay at Arsenal.
“My target is to consolidate my place with Arsenal and to reach the Argentinian national team as number one.
“I won’t stop until I get that and if I don’t play for Arsenal, then clearly I would move on.”
He will not be short of options and football.london…