£20M ace has agreement to leave Aston Villa as Euro giants want him

Bayern Munich have identified Emiliano Martinez as a potential replacement for Manuel Neuer with Aston Villa agreeing to ‘consider’ offers for their World Cup-winning goalkeeper, according to AS.

 

With hindsight, it’s maybe not the best idea to let one of your most experienced and important players try his hand at one of the more high-risk sports with still half of the football season remaining.

 

Neuer, breaking his leg in a freak skiing accident after Germany’s early exit from the Qatar World Cup, was ruled out for the remainder of 2022/23 a couple of weeks ago.

 

Then again, at 36 going on 37, the Bundesliga champions probably needed to start planning for life after one of modern football’s finest shot-stoppers anyway. Neuer’s injury might just speed up the process.

According to AS, Bayern have lined up Aston Villa’s Emi ‘Dibu’ Martinez ahead of the January transfer window. The former Arsenal benchwarmer was a major part of Argentina’s World Cup-winning roster. And the silverware bug appears to have bitten.

Martinez, The Athletic explains, hopes to add further honours to his CV in the coming years. His agent, meanwhile, insists that a move to a Champions League club would be difficult to turn down. One like Bayern Munich, for instance.

 

“Today there are few teams that can afford a goalkeeper like him,” Gustavo Goni says. “(Martinez is) clearly aiming high. For the Champions League.”

Understandably, new Villa coach Unai Emery is desperate to retain one of the game’s most reliable shot-stoppers. The former Sevilla boss, AS stay, will ‘try to convince Martinez to stay’. Doing so could be easier said than done, however.

Aston Villa already have an agreement with the one-time Oxford United loanee that they will ‘consider’ offers should they arrive from A-list clubs capable of offering Champions League football. It’s fair to say Bayern tick that particular box.

“Martinez; he looked fantastic,” Arsenal legend Martin Keown tells talkSPORT; the one-time Gunners ‘keeper making a ‘wonderful save’ to keep out Randal Kolo Muani in extra time before parrying a Kinglsey Coman penalty in Sunday’s shoot-out victory over France.

“He made a magnificent save in the dying seconds of the match, with his left foot. Absolutely out of this world. I do feel he’s an outstanding goalkeeper who was allowed to leave Arsenal Football Club.

“Martinez, if you’re an Argentinian fan, you’re loving what he’s doing (in the shoot-out). He is the dominant force. He’s putting his opponent off. He’s a national hero today!”

 

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