Arsenal are willing to put their faith in goalkeeper Bernd Leno and sell Argentine Emiliano Martínez this summer.
Leno suffered a nasty knee injury during June’s 2-1 loss to Brighton and Hove Albion and was ruled out for Arsenal’s last eight league games, in which Martínez stepped up and enjoyed several hugely impressive performances.
The Argentine helped lead Arsenal to an outstanding FA Cup triumph, after which he confessed that he did not plan on sitting on the sidelines behind Leno next season.
Arsenal had hoped to tie Martínez down to a new contract – his current deal expires in 2022 – but his ultimatum has forced them to consider his future, and according to The Athletic’s Adam Crafton, the decision has been made to part ways with Martínez this summer.
Leno has returned to training and is nearing full fitness, and given Arsenal still see the German as their first-choice goalkeeper, he is expected to return to the starting lineup ahead of the new season, which would leave Martínez back on the bench.
Under former head of football Raul Sanllehi, Arsenal had set an asking price of £20m for Martínez, but that fee is now expected to be lowered and the goalkeeper hopes that Arsenal would consider offers of under £10m for his services as a reward for his decade of loyal service.
In terms of potential suitors, Martínez is understood to have attracted interest from both England and Spain, with Valencia and Real Betis both named as potential destinations for the 27-year-old.
With Arsenal looking to sell Martínez, there is an awareness that a new backup goalkeeper is needed. Third-choice Matt Macey, who has one year remaining on his contract, is expected to be sold as well, so there could be a few new faces at the Emirates Stadium next season.
Brentford’s David Raya is on Mikel Arteta’s radar, thanks in no small part to his status as a homegrown player, but the Bees have no desire to even entertain offers for one of their stars as they prepare for another promotion push.
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