Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd raid for World Cup winner given green light with star ‘hugely tempted’ by big-money transfer

Erik ten-Hag Man Utd July 2022

Manchester United have a good chance at landing Emi Martinez from Aston Villa as the goalkeeper is ‘hugely tempted’ by an Old Trafford switch, according to one pundit.

Martinez joined Arsenal back in 2010. However, he became a victim of the loan system and rarely featured in the first team until the 2019/20 campaign. Following an injury to Bernd Leno that season, Martinez was given an opportunity by Mikel Arteta and he took it with both hands.

He put in several high-quality performances, helping Arsenal keep clean sheets in both the Premier League and FA Cup. And the Gunners went on to lift the FA Cup that season, beating Chelsea 2-1 in the final.

Arteta couldn’t give Martinez assurances he would be number one the following season due to Leno’s return from injury. As such, the 30-year-old pushed for a move elsewhere and joined Arsenal’s Premier League rivals Aston Villa.

He did brilliantly in his first season there, immediately making Arsenal regret the fact they had sold him. And Martinez has since become Argentina’s first-choice shot-stopper.

He has pulled off top saves in penalty shootouts to help Argentina win last year’s Copa America and then the Qatar World Cup.

A major transfer could be beckoning for Martinez amid claims Erik ten Hag wants him to replace David de Gea in goal. And pundit Frank McAvennie reckons Man Utd will be a ‘huge temptation’ for Martinez – although they will find it hard to agree a deal with Villa.

“Man Utd are a huge temptation for him, but they’ve still got De Gea,” McAvennie said during an interview with Football Insider.

Emi Martinez wants Man Utd – but move difficult

“Martinez will still be celebrating but there’s no chance Aston Villa will let him go at the moment.

“Unless there’s big money, which is rarely on the table in January, I don’t think he’ll be going anywhere.

“I don’t think Man United need another keeper at the moment. At the end of the season, it’s another story.”

McAvennie is right about Martinez’s huge cost this winter. After winning the World Cup, his stock is very high and Villa will look to cash in if Man Utd come calling.

There have been suggestions Villa boss Unai Emery might replace Martinez with Bono of Sevilla. But this would be a surprising move given Martinez’s exploits on the biggest footballing stage of all.

McAvennie doesn’t think Man Utd need a new keeper. But reports suggest this is exactly what Ten Hag is looking for.

He views De Gea as a brilliant shot-stopper but isn’t sure the Spaniard can play out from the back like he wants. Martinez isn’t exactly known for this either though, so perhaps there might be better options for Man Utd.

One possibility is the capture of Porto star Diogo Costa. He is very highly rated in his native Portugal and recently picked up World Cup experience with them at the World Cup.

Costa can play out with his feet if needed. And at 23 years old, he has plenty of time to get even better in this department. Perhaps Costa would be a better signing for Man Utd than Martinez.

Meanwhile, Man Utd are ‘fully expecting’ to complete a deal for a World Cup attacker, TEAMtalk understands.