Aston Villa have signed goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez from Arsenal on a four-year deal.
Sky Sports News reported on Saturday that the Gunners had accepted a £16m offer from Villa which could rise to £20m with add-ons.
Martinez, who had two years remaining on his Arsenal contract, impressed when he stepped in for Bernd Leno when the German was injured following June’s Premier League restart, but was absent from the matchday squad for the opening weekend win at Fulham.
The Argentine kept nine clean sheets in 23 games last season and helped Arsenal win the FA Cup, and also started in their Community Shield triumph over Liverpool at the start of 2020/21.
“We are really pleased with the signing of our new goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez,” said Villa head coach Dean Smith.
“We know how highly Arsenal rated him and we watched his outstanding performances last season in a trophy-winning top side.
???? #WelcomeEmi ????
Introducing our new goalkeeper: @EmiMartinezz1! ???? pic.twitter.com/ZWTVEEHhXr
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) September 16, 2020
“We moved for Emi when we saw the opportunity, as it is rare to be able to buy a top-class goalkeeper who hasn’t yet reached their peak age and who can therefore be a key player for our club for the long term.”
He becomes Villa’s third major addition, following the arrivals of club-record signing Ollie Watkins from Brentford and defender Matty Cash from Nottingham Forest.
Martinez could make his debut for the club when Villa begin their Premier League campaign against Sheffield United on Monday, live on Sky Sports.
September 21, 2020, 5:00pm
Villa are also set to sign forward Bertrand Traore from Lyon on a four-year contract after agreeing a deal worth £17m plus £2m in add-ons.
Traore, who scored four goals in 32 appearances in all competitions for last season’s Champions League semi-finalists, passed a medical in Copenhagen on Tuesday and a work permit hearing is expected to be a formality.
Villa have been actively looking for a new forward, Werder Bremen’s Milot Rashica a reported target earlier this summer.
The German club want a fee in the region of £18.5m (€20m) for the Kosovo international, who was linked to RB Leipzig earlier this summer.
Martinez bids emotional farewell to Arsenal
The 28-year-old posted an emotional farewell message to Arsenal supporters on Tuesday, in which he outlined his frustration at a lack of playing time during the majority of his time at the club.
In a post on Instagram, Martinez, who joined Arsenal from Independiente in 2010, said: “I could not be happier to leave through the front door, with the Arsenal fanbase supporting me.
“I’m very grateful for the 11 years at Arsenal, even if it was hard for me and I suffered through my time.
“Season after season I was trying come back to the club I love to try and have my chance.
“I’m proud to have overcome my frustration and show the Arsenal fanbase what it missed ten years ago. I knew I could do the same thing years before.
“It was hard, but I knew there was light at the end of the tunnel.”
Aston Villa 2020/21: A season to consolidate?
Sky Sports’ Gerard Brand:
Having survived by the skin of their teeth, Aston Villa now have a platform to build on in the Premier League.
Talisman Jack Grealish has signed a new five-year deal, and the feeling is the club have got the hardest part out of the way already: Premier League survival in their first season back.
It was an odd campaign for Dean Smith’s Villa – big summer spending, lots of hope, then injury, tactical naivety and a lack of cohesion. But it culminated in a valiant effort to secure survival on the last day. One thing is for sure, expectation at Villa Park is big, and fans won’t be expecting another dog fight. The focus on 2020/21 is build, build, build.
Transfer Centre LIVE!
All the latest news, analysis and rumours from the window in one place.
The summer transfer window will run for 10 weeks from July 27 and close at 11pm on October 5.
A domestic-only window for trades between the Premier League and EFL then runs from October 5 and closes on Friday, October 16 at 5pm. Follow all the news and analysis on Sky Sports News and across Sky Sports‘ digital platforms, including with our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.
ONE MILLION POUNDS! Can you imagine?
You read correctly. Do not miss your chance to scoop £1m for free in this week’s Super 6 round. Play for free, entries by 3pm Saturday.