Aston Villa are close to signing Leeds United target Emiliano Martinez from Arsenal, according to the Daily Mail.

The newspaper claims that goalkeeper Martinez, 28, is on the verge of a £19.5million transfer to the West Midlands after he was shown around Villa Park on Saturday.

It is understood that Leeds were among the other clubs interested in Martinez but Villa have made the strongest case to sign the Argentinean shot-stopper, with it seeming as though he’s going to become Dean Smith’s new number one.

Martinez put in some impressive performances for Arsenal at the back-end of last season when Bernd Leno was injured.

He kept three clean sheets in nine league appearances for the Gunners leading to Tony Cascarino speaking out to praise the goalkeeper on The Times website. He said that Martinez “has looked so assured in the short period he has been in goal.”

Cascarino added: “He is confident — he has a huge chest and tries to catch the ball, where most goalkeepers aim to punch — and that has run through the team.”

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Arsenal’s defence was a calamity at times last season but Martinez’s influence certainly calmed things down at the back and any club who signs him is going to be a lucky one.

We would have liked Leeds to sign the Argentinean goalkeeper because we feel he’s an upgrade on both Illan Meslier and Kiko Casilla.

But with Casilla likely to stay put and Meslier emerging as Marcelo Bielsa’s number one, we can’t see the Whites making any moves to bring in a new goalkeeper – especially for one as expensive as Martinez is proving to be.

Aston Villa have, yet again, thrown a lot of money at new players in the current transfer window and while the jury is out on players like Ollie Watkins and whether he can perform in the Premier League, it’s a different story with a proven goalkeeper like Martinez.

In other Leeds United news, the Whites are in a game of cat and mouse to sign this forward.


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