Sunday, March 3, 2024

Report: Arsenal to sell Martinez to Villa, Raya agitating for Gunners move

According to a report in the Independent this evening, Arsenal have decided to cash in on Emi Martinez, and are now waiting for Aston Villa to up their previous offer of £15m plus add-ons which would take the total close to £20m.

It says personal terms between the 28 year old and the midlands club have already been agreed, with a wage of £60,000 on offer – three times what he currently earns with the Gunners.

With Matt Macey set to depart either on loan or permanently, it would necessitate a purchase to replace Emi. The main target appears to be Brentford’s David Raya, a situation complicated by the fact they don’t want to sell him.

It’s believed the Championship side have already rejected a bid in the region of £10m for the 24 year old, who has been championed by goalkeeping coach Inaki Cana Pavon who came to us from The Bees after Mikel Arteta took over.

The Barcelona born keeper is keen to make the move though, and his agent told Catalan daily Sport ‘We will do what is necessary’, which may include handing in a transfer request. Raya has a contract with Brentford until 2023.

If you could make some sense of selling Martinez to raise funds to bring in the midfielder we all know we need, it’d be hard to rationalise spending a large chunk of what he brings in on another keeper – especially as his potential departure is linked to the fact that Bernd Leno is deemed the number 1.

It’d be a real shame to lose Emi, given the heroics he performed when deputising for Leno, but you can understand why after so many years as an understudy he’d want to be first choice somewhere.

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Not ideal and I’d miss him but perhaps he wants to go if he won’t be No. 1?


I assume that’s the case, as James mentioned on one of the podcasts. It’s a shame, but the club can’t really promise him that he’ll be the number 1 as long as Leno is there. I suspect the best they could offer him is telling him that he’s finally in serious contention for the number 1 spot.


How can we let Emi go,


Because he wants to be number 1 and nothing less

Tanned arse

I’m sure leno would feel the same if emi kept him on the bench though. I suspect it’s more a case of him being told leno IS number 1 which (if true) quite frankly stinks. I prefer martinez but im fine with leno. It’s just when someone comes in and not only doesn’t do anything wrong but actually excels (even beyond the level of the other guy) and then gets dropped that’s such a slap in the face. And a standard that isn’t applied to most players. Simply, leno is getting preferental treatment. Shake my head when I’ve heard or… Read more »

I definitely understand your point of view especially considering that Leno “usurped” Cech under similar circumstances.

The main difference between Leno and Martinez’s upcoming is that Martinez wasn’t positioned as Leno’s replacement but as an understudy.

The treatment of Martinez is cold but it would also be equally ruthless to sideline Leno due to an injury that wasn’t even his fault. It sends a message that you are expandable even if you give 100% on the pitch.


I like Martinez’s presence in goal. He is as good as Leno but also a bit of a giant. I would keep him and sell Leno, not because Leno is bad, but because that presence gives the defence some assurance and confidence


I agree totally. Of course I won’t be carrying a placard of it’s Leno that gets the nod ahead of Emi – he is an incredible keeper after all. I just feel Emi is easier on the eye in terms of presence, confidence and ball catching. The ball seems to stick to him. He seems a little better at catching the ball and that calmness of his before playing out the back is so reassuring. Now it may be the recency of it that makes me feels this way, but there’s no doubting that he is a keeper in form.… Read more »

Mike Monaghan

Pity to see one of our boys leave but if Arteta wants it so be it.

Maul Person

More the case that Emi wants it not Arteta. Or at least that he (Emi) wants more than Arsenal can offer him…

David C

Keep both and let them play for the number 1 this season. I think this is a bad move. I rate Emi above Leno. He catches everything and causes less corners.


Yep. Feels like we’re selling the wrong keeper


You bet your life we’re selling the wrong ‘keeper.


How are we selling the wrong keeper, he is good but i dont think he is better tham leno


In a season we desperately need to earn some bucks to spend on midfield recruitment, I think we can get 50mil for Leno, and keep Emi who is good enough o be no 1 at arsenal..


Also, with nuere getting on in age, I kinda see bayern destabilizing Leno next summer or the summer after that.


Bayern have already bought Neuer’s replacement in Alexander Nübel. Leno is safe…


leno is ok , worth about 12.5mill
just a shot stopper, poor at crosses, makes too many mistakes, poor distribution
id keep emi sell leno but hell what do i know


50mil for Leno?? There’s a reason Arsenal fans are sometimes considered deluded

Maul Person

Wouldn’t be Arsenal if we made the right choice…

Kartik Iyer

I don’t think it’s as clear cut as that. But I have a bad feeling in time you’ll be proved right. Leno has been more consistent over time. Martinez seems to have more potential. 20 million seems low for him. Chelsea bought kepa for 70+ mil.


Unfortunately chelsea is not bidding for martinez(or any oda top club for that matter) n i doubt any club can come for the said kepa you mentioned offering 20 million in this current window


You also need to note that the 3rd most expensive goalkeeper in the world is ederson n he cost man city 35 million, our own leno did not cost us 20 million when we bought him rather we bought him for 19.2 million and he is the 8th most expensive, if we can get 20 million from aston villa for martinez then he becoms the 8th most expensive pushing leno to 9th

Petit's Handbag

I’ve only seen Raya play in the Championship final. So going off that, he’s terrible.


A match he conceded 2 goals, imagine judging martinez by the 5 he conceded against Liverpool reserve in the carabao cup, u dont judge a keeper with 1 bad day at the office, am not saying raya is good or better am just saying 1 match is not enough to pass judgement n decide that he is terrible


You haven’t watched him enough. He’s been excellent over the best part of the season


Truly bizarre to spend 10m on a replacement. Classic Arsenal transfer making absolutely no fucking sense.

Emi has the cojones to be a brilliant no. 1, just a shame it looks like it won’t be at Arsenal. I fear we will live to regret this one. Good luck to you Sir


Yes, no idea why we want to sign a 2nd choice keeper for 10m…


I’m not sure we want Emi to leave so much as he’s demanding (apparently) to either be named the number 1 or sold. With 2 years left on his contract now is the time to make a decision on him & given his age and his desire to push to be Argentina’s starting keeper I can understand his position. I don’t think given good Leno has been though that we can promise Emi he is going to be our number one as Leno has been one of the top keepers in the PL the past few years.


I don’t think he is demanding. He is probably feeling he won’t get a fair fight. Personally I feel the message to Emi should be, ‘you won your place in goal, then stay there till you lose it or someone performs better.’


He didn’t win it though did he? He came in because Leno got injured, and not because Leno was dropped.


He didn’t win his place in goal. He took over from Leno who was playing excellently and injured. The assertion that Emi wouldn’t get a fair shot just absolutely flies in the face of everything we know about Arteta. If Emi wants to be number 1 at a big club he’s going to have to fight for it – that’s just reality


We know at some point it’s going to be either Leno or EMI. We cant have them both.


We can have them both. We likely got 50+ games coming up in the next 9 months.


Well said. We’ve had them both already for a couple of seasons – why not another one, especially when we’re (supposedly) trying to get back into the top four and challenge for a European trophy, plus the cups. Honestly, this blinkered vision ‘cash-raising’ trip that people are on is truly nauseating.I get that we need to trim the squad down and get rid of the dross. But players like Martinez for £15m plus ‘add-ons’…? It’s a fucking joke. This is a seriously huge mistake by the club that is going to come back and bite us in the arse big… Read more »


Well we can’t have them both now that Emi has proven to himself and the whole world that he’s elite/ number 1 goalie material. I’d be surprised if we managed to keep both at this point. Very unfair to displace Leno who had kept the team afloat more often than not especially with terrible coaching (no disrespect to Emery) & defending from the team. Emi doesn’t strike me as the guy you’d offer an increased wage to be happy to seat on the bench too. Love the guy to pieces especially for his loyalty which Is increasingly scarce in today’s… Read more »


But 1 wants it outrightly without fight

Lord Bendnter

Agreed. This day had to come

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

We can avoid this by giving him 75K to be No. 2.

Guess money doesn’t grow on trees 😀


It does down at Stamford Bridge….

I’d start Emi as #1 against Fulham actually, he’s on great form…. Give Leno the Carabao Cup game at Leicester to ease him back into it after his injury.

I guess he was offered bettered than what Villa has. But has declined citing that it isn’t the money he’s after and that he wants regular game time as #1.


I don’t think it’s about money. He wants to be the number 1 keeper for Argentina and has a real shot at it – if he’s starting regularly. He’s at an age where he wants to play – can’t fault him for taking his chance.


Any other club would make it worth his while to stay, but this is Kroenke’s Arsenal. If he could help it, he wouldn’t give 75 cents, never mind 75K.


money isn’t the issue. 1. we’ve supposedly offered him a sizable raise and he’s turned it down as he wants to be named the outright number 1 vs. having to fight for it 2. you do realize for all your complaining about kroenke and finances that 99.99% of football clubs are self-sutaining & we’ve had a massive net transfer spend for a long time. Wenger’s last 5 years was one of the highest in all of Europe. We’ve just bought extremely poorly and have been disasters at selling = it’s a much bigger deal for us to miss on players.… Read more »


Whats the point? Give Emi a payrise and have them fight for the no1 spot.


But he doesn’t want the money, he want the number 1 spot and doesn’t want to fight for it


Gutted if he leaves


sell Leno to Bayern and keep Emi as number 1!


Agreed – we would/should get more for Leno than Emi – who I also believe is classed as home grown & (IMHO) is a better keeper in the way MA8 wants to play out from the back. Emi has to be worth more than Villa are offering – hope there is a buyback/sell- on clause if
he leaves.


No, you don’t sell either of them!


This sounds like it’s being pushed by the player. Fair enough, we all knew it was one of him or Leno.

Just hope we set a sell on fee for when he’s inevitably sold to Man Utd for 90m.


I can’t be the only one who despite how good Leno is rates Emi higher?

Especially for our style of play, he is way more aggressive when coming out for crosses, makes me feel much more relaxed with his distribution both by hand or feet and he is an easy homegrown player for squad.

He also seems to hold onto shots way better than Leno.

To be honest I would rather Bernd left before Emi.

No point saying it’s a family if we won’t reward loyalty and hardwork in the family

Steve Morrow’s fractured ulnar

Great post except for the bit about family.

Leno has been loyal to us during our worst period. He has also been one of our most consistent players every season since he joined. He is our family and deserves our loyalty and respect too.

I’d be gutted to see Emi go, but whatever happens we’ll be left with a few more million in the bank and a great goalkeeper between the sticks.


It’s a sign of the faith that I have in Arteta that I do not question the decision, if he is to go, despite it making little sense to me and me personally really wanting Emi to stay around.

I don’t question Arteta’s thought process or decisions. Full stop. And it’s been a while since I personally have had that belief in our manager.

If he is to go I really hope he does well and has an amazing career that rewards his patience, loyalty and talent.


As gutted as I am about losing Emi, I’m so happy he finished his Arsenal career with FA Cup and Community Shield winner medals and more importantly played in both games.

All the best to that man. He will be sorely missed.

Olivije Žirod

I don’t understand this decision especially because we will be buying a new goalie. What I hate the most about goalies is them being too small which Raya is. Flashy parades doesn’t make him a good goalkeeper. If anything doing a parade, is already a mistake done because of poor positioning. Small keepers can’t reach the balls which even much worse but taller would save without an effort. I would rather give a chance to Macey, if Martinez really has to go.

Steve Morrow’s fractured ulnar

Isnt the issue with Macey that he’s not rated high enough to be number 2?

Without a decent back up maybe we don’t win the FA cup last year?


My problem with this is that competition for the GK position would diminish if Martinez is sold. I am guessing that we are accepting a bid because there isn’t any demand for the others we would like to sell. Again, this is the problem with the KSE leechy business model.


Not only would there be no competition, we’d be making a clear statement to whoever the new no2 is that realistically there’s no displacing Leno at all regardless of how well they ever do.

That’s not good for the new guy or Leno.


But no one is saying leno is number 1 n definitely not arteta, the decision is that emi wont be number 1 so he should fight for it if he wants it or if he think he is better than leno but he doesn’t want to fight for it, he want it gifted to him n outrightly, am sure the plan was for him to start against fulham but the fear of being displaced by leno as the season progress is what is making him seek for guarantee n assurance


That’s total speculation about him wanting the shirt handed to him without competition. Emi has fought for the number 1 shirt then took his chance when it came and is currently deserving of it.

If he’s committed to leaving it can only be because he’s been told he will start the season on the bench.


You can’t blame Martinez for wanting to go: he’s going to triple his wages and, most importantly, get guaranteed first-team football. At his age he needs to make the most of it.

We’ll need to bring in an experienced number 2 ASAP


Funny how you haven’t mentioned any prospective names that fit your criteria…

David Dein

No, I don’t blame him at all. But I think it is a poor decision. Should keep them for this season and let them fight for No1 . Who knows either one of them may be injured and out for a few months like Leno did?

Toure Motors

Selling Emi for a net 5m does not seem sensible, not withstanding that Brentford conceded fewest goals in the championship last year. Having watched that playoff final, I know it’s only one game but rayas had a shocker


This – makes – no – sense. If they were offering £40m then I’d see some sense in it. But if this report is accurate, then we’d only raise around £10m pounds by selling him and buying a replacement. What kind of midfield will that bring us?

Steve Morrow’s fractured ulnar

Henry only cost us £10.5m

Quick, everyone look down the back of the sofa for the last 500k


Well, if this true, then it is sad news indeed.

There you go, Biggles. There’s your beloved ‘much needed cash.’

Now will you put a sock in it?


Emis distribution is better than Leno. All you need to do is look at city to understand how much more that matters than it used to. We should sell Leno.


Going to be even harder going back to watch Leno flap at crosses now…

Can’t be overstated what an offensive weapon it is to have a keeper whose first option is to claim a cross before distributing it with accuracy vs the lottery of punching.


Yeah like that’s all Leno does.


Not a great shock. We can’t satisfy two keepers and Leno got the nod I guess. Importantly, this prospective transfer will bring in the first “reasonable” money in this window – almost all so far has been out, which can’t last for obvious reasons. It looks like Bellerin may be next with two clubs reportedly interested. Selling some “saleable” players, rather than the players we want to offload, is really the only way to raise cash.


Really? Is that so? We’ve just lost a ‘keeper who could have potentially helped us back into the top four and all you can go on about is further depleting the squad.

FFS, give it a rest.




emi was given enough time to prove himself but did it at the last minute when leno got injured. i dont trust him being no1 this season let him move on good luck emi


Unfortunate, but a sellable asset that we can part with if we’re looking to fund purchases. Great run in the Cup.

David J M

Madness, madness, they call it madness.


I’m sure that the Brentford goalkeeper made some serious errors at the end of the season and it cost them promotion.

Surely there must be a veteran goalkeeper who we can get on a free whose happy to be No.2 rather than waste most of the Martinez fee on this other geezer?


I’ll probably get down voted but I’m glad none of you are the coach. If you were, you would be making decisions based on emotions and recency bias. You want to sell one of the best goalkeepers in the league because the backup performed good? Absolute lunacy.

Emi performed well in a more organized team where he was facing like 10 shots a game. Leno faced shots after shots because the midfield and defence were atrocious.

It’s one thing to say Emi performed beyond expectations but to say he’s better than Leno is laughable.


The simple truth is that martinez performances were not only beyond expectations but also beyond our imagination, so i dont understand why people are saying we should bin leno for him, the same people who dare not try say such this time last year(i mean before the league begun), martinez is good but leno is better and he knows that himself, thats why he is afraid of fighting for the number 1 spot n looking for it as a reward to his 10 matches audition


Exactly, he played a few games(very brilliantly I might add), and now he’s demanding to be number 1 or he’ll leave. I don’t get it

Dave cee

It is not laughable, it is a very real debate based on the quality of Emi’s performances


It is laughable though, you can’t compare 10 league games vs 62 league games. It doesn’t work that way I’m sorry.


Like Mikel couldn’t be our coach because he didn’t have experience? If you’ve got it you’ve got it.


But no one is saying Mikel is better than Klopp (despite beating him twice) or Pep, based on a few games he’s managed.


All I can say is Bernd Leno is no joke

If he carries on where he left off, we’ll be fine


It would be a shame to lose him but 20 million would be handy in the transfer market.

However I don’t really understand why we would then spend half of that on a replacement?

Looking at Transfer there are many goalkeepers in the last year of their contract, including Butland & Silva, Surely they would be a more sensible option?


The question is how do you keep someone that wants to be number 1 and not ready or willing to fight for the said number 1 spot(knowing fully well that the number 1 will keep in the league and number 2 in cup games cos theres lot of matches to go around with less space inbetween). I love martinez performance post covid but pre covid each game he keeps is 1 am always sure we will conceed before the game even began, we might say he is this and that just because of his performances during this short period but… Read more »


Man genuinely disappointed with EMI going.
He’s a character and I know I’m my heart of hearts he’s not really really proven but he was physical and commanded area so well was potentially the keeper we had been looking for the last 10 years but really do rate Leno too.
On paper it’s EMI over Leno for me but know that Mikel knows best.

Fully agreed that money should be spent in midfield surprised we don’t just go for a loan keeper like the PSG lad or Fraser Foster on loan be good enough I thought.

Gunner J

Leno upped his game last time he got injured and Cech took his place as No.1. Emi should be No.1 to give him a chance at the club he has been loyal to for years, for some players all that wait and finally getting the No.1 spot ignites a fire in them (see La Coq), not only that Emi will have to chance to put his money where is mouth is. This will only be good for Arsenal as that position of GK will be greatly competed for thereby raising the game of both Emil and Leno. I don’t doubt… Read more »


Real shame to see him go but this approach to balancing the team is what we’ve been crying out for. Arteta is showing that he won’t be sentimental.


Leno under 3 managers in the league had a save percentage of 77.6 in 30 starts and most of those matches are under emery when we had no definition of what defending means or idea of how to defend rather leaving the faith of the opponent not scoring in the hand of the goal keeper. Martinez on the other hand had a save percentage of 81 but in just 8 starts in the league under arteta when our defence already had idea of what defending is even if it stil wasnt great but they are better at it. Imagine it… Read more »

Public Elneny

It would be incredibly stupid to waste half the money we get losing Emi by replacing him with a flappy midget. Watched Brentford’s last 5 games of the season, and he’s either completely useless, or falls to pieces in high pressure situations. If we’re going to sign a keeper of that age for that amount, it should be with a view to him progressing to be 1st choice over time. Raya CLEARLY doesn’t have that kind of potential. We’re much better off signing a cheaper experienced stop gap, and using the funds generated on a midfielder I hope we’re not… Read more »


£10m is a bit steep for a backup GK. would prefer someone who’d be a little more inclined to sit on the bench


Perhaps an unpopular opinion on here but I’m shocked by how many people are declaring that Martinez is definitively better than Leno on the back of, what ,10 or so games? Martinez has been fantastic in that run no doubt, but Leno was colossal for us over the last two seasons. Will be a shame to lose Martinez of course but I can’t get my head around the Leno slander!


I think Martinez’s control of his box is more impressive than Leno’s, and for a team like Arsenal that struggle with set pieces, Martinez added an element of calm that Leno was not always able to produce. I think both keepers are superb, and though Leno is a superior shot-stopper, Martinez’s 3cm height advantage just somehow plays like more. No slander to Leno – an excellent keeper and a keeper. But losing Martinez is what hurts, as you say, and the fans really connected to him — those saves, those words, those tears. What slays me is that we might… Read more »

Dave cee

Totally agree. Plus factor in the homegrown status ( which is like gold in the PL ) and ask the question what happens if Bayern come in for Leno next year to replace Neuer? Do we think Leno will want to stick around?
This feels like a mistake. Could we not find a compromise, like give it until January to see who wins the fight for the position? I know, money, money, but doesn’t sound like we are going to make a whole heap from this deal 🙁

Bamzee Blaze

He is better than Leno. I was against buying Leno at the time we were linked to him, having watched Martinez in his last loan spell. He had improved greatly. Leno is great, more experienced than Emi, but Emi has better commanding presence in the box that you need from a goalie. His concentration has also been superb and obviously, his distribution is better cojones. We should not be selling our better goalie to Aston Villa…and not for that pittance anyway. He is also homegrown and one of us, a poster boy for all goalkeepers at Academy level. We should… Read more »


?? he’s not better than Leno stop it

David Hillier's luggage

I know they’re historically a ‘big club’ but surely Emi can do better than Villa? Granted we’re unlikely to sell to Chelsea, at £15-20m he’d be a steal for a clubs like Newcastle, Everton or West Ham and waltz into the starting XI of a clubs like Inter.

He’s the best homegrown keeper in the league right now, going for less than Sheffield Utd paid a relegated Bournemouth for a keeper who hadn’t played a minute of Premier League football before last season. Bizarre.


I think Arteta made a big mistake playing Leno in the Olympiacos game. It gave Emi the message that the coach doesn’t rate him, I think it unsettled the team and possibly cost us the result. If Emi believes it’s a fair fight I think he’d be up for it, but maybe he doesn’t think he’s got a chance. If Leno starts on Saturday I’ll be really pissed off, because Emi’s done nothing to lose his place. I also find it disappointing that Emi would be sold for so little, and to Villa, who are a crap team and aren’t… Read more »


Unfortunately no big team is coming in for him n most teams dont have money at dis time to buy outfield players not to talk of buying a goal keeper for large sum, even chelsea with all their spending is settling for mendy from rennes if am not wrong. Arsenal are not saying we want to sale you cos if they do they wont have offered him a new contract but he(emi) wants to keep as number 1 which arsenal ain’t guaranteeing so it means he has to go get it somewhere else, dont just blame arsenal when the keeper… Read more »


Given the situation of things, it’s logical to sell Emi. He wants the number 1 spot without fighting for it. That wouldn’t be fair on Leno. I assume Emi feels he’s been here long enough to take that position especially now that he’s proven to be good enough to be number 1. Whats the going rate for Keepers of his caliber? 40k? 50k? 60k north? But it’s a covid market and tough to get such especially as goalies aren’t really in demand as outfield players. If he wants to go to Villa he’s earned the pleasure of choosing his transfer… Read more »


Give emi a pay rise to 60k a week amd keep him. He instills confidence whereas leno flaps a bit and looks lightweight. Crazy idea to sell our best keeper and biy someone less good.


Emi is not our best keeper


Bad news.
What if Leno picks up another injury and we haven’t been able to replace Emi to a suitable level? And as said said replacement would cost the bulk of the emi fee anyway.

Should keep both and make them compete for this season. Then pick the best option for Arsenal at the end of the season and sell the weaker of the two.

We have too much to worry about this season to also add a needing a new keeper to the list.


We should have two class goalkeepers fighting for no 1, this seems like the same old story. How would we know Leno will be the same after his injury?


An optometrist point of view is, wow, we just got 20m for our reserve GK.


I’ll be happy with Leno or Emi as the #1 this year and in light of squad needs I’m in favor of selling the other. Leno was mostly brilliant pre-injury. But After a few games of watching Emi I had just as much confidence in him (and maybe even a little more- he was big and aggressive on high balls and he seemed to be better at catching/handling shots as well). I trust the gk coaches and arteta to judge who is all around better. Leno has a much longer track record. Emi’s sample size is a bit small be… Read more »


I agree totally.


The goalkeeping coach worked with Raya before and seems he’s the one recommending him and the player is desperate to join the club and his old coach. Seems very cosy, is he actually any good?


Is 10-15 million really that much for a backup keeper? We want someone competent and unless you can get an older GK on a free they still cost about that. The problem is Emi’s heroic run came from out of the blue, with minimal planning we could’ve looked at bringing in a cheaper backup. The other thing is that if Leno continues to perform well a huge club could come in for him. All the big keepers save maybe Oblak are all settled. In a year or two Leno could be the most sought after GK. If that ever happened… Read more »


I know he played just a few games, but does anybody else have the feeling that he is more stable (and better with the ball on his feet) than Leno?

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