Aston Villa must avoid a major transfer disaster over Emi Martinez amid suggestions Atletico Madrid are now interested in signing him.
Reports in recent from Football Insider initially suggested that Manchester United had set their sights on the Argentina international after having been impressed with his performances in his first season with Dean Smith’s side.
Now, Spanish publication La Razon (via Sport Witness) claim that Atletico have their eye on signing Martinez as a potential replacement for current number one shot-stopper Jan Oblak, whose contract with the Spanish side comes to an end in the summer of 2023.
The report adds that the fee for Martinez would likely be less than what they would recoup for Oblak, which would ease the strain on their finances.
The Argentine has been an absolute revelation for Dean Smith since joining from fellow Premier League side Arsenal last summer, keeping the third most clean sheets in the division with 15.
Described as a “phenomenon” and someone who “guarantees ten points per season” by Argentinian World Cup winner Daniel Bertoni, Martinez has been nothing short of outstanding for the Midlands club, so much so that he’s now a permanent fixture in his country’s squad too.
It’s no surprise then that rival clubs have sat up and taken notice of his performances, and Atletico’s latest interest is a massive compliment to just how well he has done.
As well as being one of the Premier League’s elite goalkeepers as shown by the number of clean sheets he kept last season, he represents the kind of signing that shows the state of NSWE’s ambition.
Villa are moving forward and are trying to push for that European spot and break into top seven, but they simply cannot do that by letting Martinez go – in fact, it would be a major backwards step and a telling sign that they aren’t able to crack into the elite.
It’s exactly why fans will be absolutely livid if Villa were to cash in on the £31.5m-rated Martinez.
Not only would they be losing a top-class goalkeeper and giving them an absolute headache in trying to replace him, but they would also lose some of the significant progress they have made in the past couple of years to catch up to the division’s best clubs.