Villarreal boss Unai Emery is reportedly keen on signing Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, who he worked with at the Emirates.
Martinez, who was originally back-up to Bernd Leno in between the sticks, is competing with the German for the No 1 jersey after his impressive performances for the Gunners at the back end of last season.
Yet ex-Arsenal manager Emery, who lasted 18 months in north London before his sacking in November 2019, is hoping to persuade his former club to part with the Argentine and join him at LaLiga side Villarreal, according to The Telegraph.
Emiliano Martinez could leave Arsenal this season if he is not Mikel Arteta’s first-choice keeper
Villarreal boss Unai Emery, formerly of Arsenal, is interested in bringing Martinez to Spain
Emery and his goalkeeping coach enjoyed a good relationship with Martinez while at Arsenal
However, the report details that Martinez wants to stay at the Emirates this season – but only if he is Mikel Arteta’s first-choice this season.
As of yet, the Arsenal boss has not told either goalkeeper which one of them will be his main main for the new season.
Martinez, who turns 28 today (September 2), started in Arsenal’s Community Shield triumph against Liverpool on Saturday, despite recently returning to action from quarantine.
In addition, should Martinez leave the club – with Aston Villa and Schalke also interested in the keeper – the Gunners are exploring a possible deal with Brentford for David Raya.
Emery’s interest also stems from his goalkeeping coach at Villarreal, Javi Garcia, enjoying a good relationship with Martinez whilst working with him at the Emirates.
Martinez was instrumental in Arsenal’s FA Cup success last season and took his chance in goal after Leno’s season-ending injury against Brighton on June 20.
It is not yet clear who Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta wants as his No 1 goalkeeper next season
Bernd Leno had the starting spot before his injury in June gave the opportunity to Martinez
Leno, brought in by Emery in the summer of 2018 from Bayer Leverkusen, was one of Arsenal’s best players before his injury too, leaving Arteta with a dilemma heading into the new season.
The Arsenal manager also knows he needs to raise extra funds if he wants to strengthen his squad further this summer, after completing a £27m deal with Lille for defender Gabriel Magalhaes yesterday.
Arsenal open up their Premier League campaign with a trip to newly-promoted Fulham on September 12.
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