Arsenal stopper Emiliano Martinez is reportedly close to putting pen to paper on a new deal at the club, despite interest from multiple Premier League sides.
The Argentine assumed the No.1 role after injury kept Bernd Leno sidelined for the latter stages of last season. After almost 10 years at the club without getting a run of games between the sticks, Martinez grabbed the opportunity with both hands, putting in some outstanding displays.
The 27-year-old started Arsenal’s Community Shield victory over Liverpool on Saturday, despite Leno’s return to fitness.
There were suggestions that Leno will regain his starting berth when the new Premier League season starts in September, and Martinez would be subsequently offloaded.
However, the Telegraph claim that despite a number of clubs in England’s top tier keen on snapping up the goalkeeper, he is close to signing a new contract at the Emirates.
The report states that the north London club want him to stick around and he has been offered an extension on his current two-year deal.
Martinez has maintained that if he isn’t given enough game time next season, he will be seeking a move away from the club.
Mikel Arteta has a major decision to make on who he chooses to be first-choice keeper and suggested that he isn’t only looking to keep one or the other happy, he wants them to fight for it.
Speaking before the win over Liverpool, the Spaniard said: ‘Last season, when Bernd got injured, if somebody had some doubts about Emi’s character or qualities then he’s shown what he’s able to do and he didn’t do it for one game, he did it for 10 or 11 games in a row.
‘I’m delighted to have both of them. But they both know that on the first day of pre-season, you start again and fight for your place and show us who is the one that deserves the chance to start.
‘I don’t want to keep them both happy, I want the one that is not playing to be upset. ‘But upset and then challenge the next player to make him better, or if not, earn his place to do that. It’s not easy to do that.
‘I personally don’t see any different with goalkeepers to full-backs. They know that, I’ve been really clear with them and hopefully they can make each other better and hopefully the team better.’