Atletico Madrid stance on Jan Oblak to test star over Aston Villa loyalty claim

Emi Martinez Aston Villa 2022 TEAMtalk1

A report claims Spanish side Atletico Madrid will attempt to sign Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez if they lose Jan Oblak.

Martinez, 30, has been with the West Midlanders since September 2020 when they paid Arsenal in the region of £20m for his services. The Argentina international penned a four-year deal and has made 83 appearances in all competitions for the Villans. Having spent two years in the Arsenal youth setup, the South American was on the Gunners books for eight years.

However, he enjoyed only 38 outings and made just 15 Premier League appearances. Unsurprisingly, he was loaned out to a number of clubs during his Emirates stint.

Martinez played a single game for Oxford United before spells with Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham United and Wolves. The man with 17 international caps was then farmed out to LaLiga outfit Getafe before Reading enjoyed his company for six months.

Having led a nomadic lifestyle, it was no surprise when he jumped at he opportunity of moving to Villa Park. And it was a move that paid off as the Mar del Plata-born star has been a star for the Premier League outfit.

But it remains to be seen if he is still part of Steven Gerrard’s squad next term. The Mirror are suggesting Martinez is Diego Simeone’s number one target if Oblak opts to leave.

The Slovenia international is in the final year of his deal at Metropolitano Stadium. He has shown little inclination towards inking an extension and so the Spaniards are planning for the future.

And it may be that they look to sell their current custodian in January rather than lose him for nothing next summer.

Mixed messages over Martinez intentions

Aston Villa chief Steven Gerrard may be put under pressure in the January transfer window. Oblak, 29, has made 360 appearances in all competitions for Los Colchoneros.

Manchester United have been heavily linked with the Slovenia international. The Red Devils are seeking a long-term replacement for David de Gea.

And a report last week claimed they would be prepared to double his wages. Whether or not they would be happy to pay a fee in the winter window is unclear.

The north-west giants might look to wait until next summer and take him on a free transfer. But if Oblak did depart early next year, Martinez appears to be Atletico’s favoured option as his replacement.

And back in April this year, a report by Juve Dipendenza claimed he ‘can’t wait to leave Birmingham’. However, he subsequently ended any speculation about his loyalty to Villa.

“I love this club, I’ve said it from day one I love this club,” he told Sky Sports. “I love being here, I didn’t want to go anywhere and I owe the fans for always having my back so I want to repay them.”

However, the lure of playing Champions League football may be tough to resist. Atletico currently sit seventh in the Spanish top-flight standings.

But they are still in touch with the top four and have three points from two matches in this season’s Champions League.

Villa have endured a tough start to their Premier League campaign. But a 1-0 triumph over Southampton last time out stopped the rot.

Martinez may face a battle with relegation if he remains with his present employers. And, despite his loyalty pledge, a move to Spain could well appeal.

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