Emiliano Martinez closes in on £19.5m move to Aston Villa... but Brighton plot late swoop 1

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Emiliano Martinez is closing in on a move to Aston Villa after they agreed a £19.5million deal with Arsenal.

Emiliano Martinez closes in on £19.5m move to Aston Villa... but Brighton plot late swoop 2

The Argentine was left out of Arsenal’s line-up to face Fulham but is now expected to be in place for Villa’s opening Premier League fixture with Sheffield United if all goes to plan.

Mikel Arteta had made it clear to Martinez that, despite recent performances, Bernd Leno would be his number one choice and was not keen to rotate goalkeepers through various cup competitions.

Emiliano Martinez closes in on £19.5m move to Aston Villa... but Brighton plot late swoop 3

Brighton, Leeds United and Schalke had also shown interest but Villa, with Tom Heaton still out injured, appear to have made the strongest case to the 28-year-old Martinez.

A rival offer from Brighton remains on the table, but Martinez was taken around Villa Park on Saturday as the Midlands side attempted to sell the club’s rich history and his importance to the side if he joined to him.

It is expected the Argentine – who harbours hopes of becoming his country’s no.1 – would come in as their starter ahead of Heaton, but Brighton have made no such promise which is paramount to Martinez making the move.

Emiliano Martinez closes in on £19.5m move to Aston Villa... but Brighton plot late swoop 4

Emiliano Martinez closes in on £19.5m move to Aston Villa... but Brighton plot late swoop 5

More importantly, Villa made the offers that eventually matched Arsenal’s valuation with the clinching offer understood to be £15m plus £4.5m in add ons.

Villa will now look to add Werder Bremen winger Milot Rashica in a deal worth around £18million.

The 24-year-old Kosovo international is expected to agree terms over the weekend to give Villa an extra cutting edge. Rashica scored 11 goals in 34 games last season.

Manager Dean Smith remains keen to add another striker too with Bournemouth’s Josh King and Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster among names discussed.

Emiliano Martinez closes in on £19.5m move to Aston Villa... but Brighton plot late swoop 6

Emiliano Martinez closes in on £19.5m move to Aston Villa... but Brighton plot late swoop 7

 

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