The Guardian report this evening that Emi Martinez will not be part of the Arsenal squad for our Premier League opener against Fulham tomorrow.
Speculation over the 28 year’s future has intensified this week, with a report of a near £20m bid from Aston Villa, with Brighton also said to be trying to sign him.
Earlier, Mikel Arteta downplayed suggestions that whoever started at Craven Cottage would be the number one, but with Martinez absent, Leno would clearly be seen as the incumbent – especially as the current back-up option is Matt Macey who has only two senior appearances to his name.
The German was one of the team’s most consistent players last season until injury forced him to miss the end of the season, with the Argentine deputising brilliantly.
Martinez is looking to become a Premier League first choice, and with the club in need of funds his sale now would net us far more than it would have just a few months ago.
If he does go, some of that money would need to spent on a replacement, but the Gunners main target, Brentford’s David Raya, has been told he is not for sale.
Asked by reporters if the Barcelona born stopper might depart, he said, “I would like to repeat myself. If the price is right for Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma, then they are for sale.
“The rest are not for sale.”
Raya’s agent yesterday told Catalan outlet Sport that they would do ‘whatever is necessary’ to force a move, and Arsenal’s goalkeeping coach Inaki Cana Pavon is keen to hook up again with the 24 year old.
With plenty to do in the market before the close on October 6th, this is another issue for manager Mikel Arteta and Technical Director Edu to sort out.