Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez has reportedly agreed terms over a four-year deal with Aston Villa.
Martinez impressed while standing in for the injured Bernd Leno during the latter part of last season, and played a crucial role in the Gunners’ 14th FA Cup triumph.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is believed to be keen on tying down the Argentine to a new deal, but Martinez reportedly turned down the latest contract offer as he wants more regular first-team football.
With Leno expected to start the Gunners’ Premier League opener away to Fulham on Saturday, Martinez’s representatives have been in talks with other clubs.
Villa are the favourites to sign the 28-year-old keeper after making two bids so far, with Martinez preferring to remain in the Premier League amid interest from La Liga side Villarreal.
And the 28-year-old keeper has agreed a deal with Dean Smith’s side worth around £60,000 per week, according to The Independent.
The publication reports that Villa are to make an improved bid for Arsenal after an offer of around £15m was turned down by the Gunners.
The Emirates side are believed to value Martinez at around £20m.
And while the manager is keen for the keeper to stay and provide competition between the sticks, funds raised from his sale would be a welcome boost as Arteta continues to pursue Lyon star Houssem Aouar and Atletico Madrid defensive midfielder Thomas Partey.
On the other hand, Arsenal will not part with Martinez on the eve of the new season without knowing that a new back-up option will arrive at the Emirates.
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Arteta is an admirer of Brentford goalkeeper David Raya, 24, but little progress has been made over a deal as the Bees are refusing to sell the Spaniard.