Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Premier League • England

Man Utd breathe huge sigh of relief after Bayern Munich ready Aston Villa raid that’ll preserve signing Ten Hag craves

Aston Villa stars Philippe Coutinho, Emiliano Martinez, Tyrone Mings, Ollie Watkins and John McGinn

Bayern Munich could inadvertently do Man Utd a huge favour after a report revealed they’re mulling a raid for an Aston Villa star currently in the headlines.

While Man Utd’s search for a new striker is taking centre stage, the goalkeeping department also looks set for change. Indeed, Sky Germany recently claimed that at present, the Red Devils do not intend to extend David de Gea’s contract.

The Spaniard, 32, is out of contract at season’s end, though the club hold an option for an extra 12 months. The reliable Florian Plettenberg stated United do not intend to trigger the option and as such, De Gea will leave in 2023.

A new No 1 will be sought, most likely next summer. However, a more established back-up when compared to loanee Martin Dubravka or Tom Heaton and Dean Henderson is also on the agenda.

Varying reports have claimed United are currently in talks with Borussia Monchengladbach’s Yann Sommer.

The 33-year-old Switzerland international is being targeted as a high class No 2 and TEAMtalk have also been told talks have opened. However, a remarkable twist of fate has conspired to scupper United’s plans.

Neuer injury prompts Bayern search

Bayern Munich stopper, Manuel Neuer, recently broke his leg during a skiing accident. The Bayern No 1 has been ruled out for the rest of the season and understandably, the Bavarians are exploring replacements for January.

Sommer is one name who’s emerged on their radar according to the German press. Italian outlet Calciomercato backed up Bayern’s interest on Sunday.

Sommer has proved himself a reliable and capable performer for many a year with Gladbach. It makes sense Bayern would plump for someone they’ve seen up close and personal for several years.

But a fresh report from French outlet MediaFoot has shed new light on Bayern’s search for a new goalkeeper. They report that instead of United target Sommer, Bayern are aiming even higher and targeting Aston Villa’s Emiliano Martinez.

The 30-year-old is fresh off lifting the World Cup with Argentina and saved a penalty in the shoot-out. Argentina only made it to penalties in the first place following Martinez’s heroic last-minute save from Randal Kolo Muani.

Martinez to Bayern would preserve Sommer to Man Utd

Martinez has been superb since moving to Villa Park from Arsenal in the summer of 2021. However, there are doubts as to whether he’ll be favoured by new boss Unai Emery.

The pair’s relationship soured during Emery’s time in north London. Bayern seemingly hope to capitalise on any lingering ill-will with Martinez front and centre in their sights.

Martinez ‘ticks all the boxes’ for what Bayern want and rather than simply be a stop-gap fix, it’s suggested he could go on to succeed Neuer as the No 1 when the time comes. Martinez is already 30, but Neuer is 36.

From the player’s end, it’s claimed Martinez has shown no desire to leave England. Yet that doesn’t stop the article posing the question: If a club the size of Bayern with Champions League football on offer come calling, can Martinez really say no?

Man Utd will certainly be hoping he doesn’t. Indeed, if Bayern do move for Martinez, they’ll have no need to sign Sommer.

The Swiss will then be free to sign on the dotted line at Old Trafford and preserve Ten Hag’s plan to acquire an uber-reliable No 2.

READ MORE: Roy Keane criticises Emiliano Martinez for World Cup final antics, as Gary Neville lauds particular trait