Arsenal have welcomed a cash injection of up to £20million following the sale of Emiliano Martinez to Aston Villa. Both clubs confirmed earlier today that the Argentine has completed his move to Midlands on a four-year contract.
The Gunners made the decision last week to sell the Argentine despite his heroics filling in for the injured Bernd Leno.
Martinez was actually set to start the season as Arsenal’s No 1 goalkeeper until Arteta decided that it would be best to cash in amid interest from several clubs in the Premier League and Europe.
The 28-year-old then withdrew from the Arsenal squad to face Fulham last Saturday after Aston Villa had a bid accepted.
Brighton were interested in the player but he was set on joining Villa after receiving assurances of regular football.
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Martinez paid tribute to Arsenal fans on Instagram as he prepares to embark on his new adventure: “I could not be happier to leave through the front door with the Arsenal fanbase supporting me and the club supporting me,” he said.
“I had 11 years at the club, and even if it was a hard road for me, and I suffered through my time at Arsenal, today I am happy and I tried to show young goalies how work pays off.”
The deal is worth an initial £17m which is set to rise to £20m in add-ons. That will now go towards Arsenal’s transfer kitty and they remain keen on bringing in a central midfielder.
Their top targets are Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar but both will not come cheap with Atletico Madrid and Lyon holding firm on their asking price.
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Partey has a release clause of £45m and will only be allowed to leave the club should that be triggered.
He is thought to be keen on a move to England and supported Arsenal as a boy. The Ghana international is currently stalling on a new contract as he weighs up his options.
As for Aouar, Arteta is said to be in love with the player and would jump at the chance to bring him to the Emirates Stadium.
Unfortunately for him, Lyon are demanding £54m following several impressive showings as Lyon reached the Champions League semi-finals in August.
According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Arsenal are set to bid for Aouar again after having a player-plus-cash deal rejected.
He does claim that Arsenal will not be able to afford both midfielders though, on his new podcast Here We Go he said: “We will see because Arsenal are monitoring him so they will try again in my opinion.
“They are in talks with his agent but it’s so difficult in this moment to get him because of the president Aulas.
“It’s complicated but for sure he is on the list. I will also say it’s just one between Thomas and Aouar this summer.
“Both is impossible but in this moment it’s very complicated.”
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