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Arsenal star keeper turns down extension offer amid plans to force out move

Emiliano Martinez has reportedly turned down Arsenal’s latest contract offer after Aston Villa tabled a second bid to sign the goalkeeper.

Argentine Martinez is a wanted man after he shone in the absence of injured Gunners No1 Bernd Leno last season.

His performances helped Arsenal finish the season strongly and were vital to the club winning its 14th FA Cup.

Manager Mikel Arteta is keen to tie Martinez down to a new deal at the Emirates Stadium but the 28-year-old is intent on being first-choice shot-stopper so he can break into the Argentina squad.

Meanwhile, Aston Villa, heavily linked with Martinez, have submitted a second bid closer to Arsenal’s £20million valuation, in a bid to prise him from north London.

The personal terms Villa have tabled are more lucrative than those Arteta is willing to offer, reports Goal.

Martinez has no interest in signing a new deal at the Emirates while he waits to see if he will be first choice when they face Fulham this weekend.

Gunners boss Arteta is facing a complicated puzzle as he ponders what to do with his goalkeeping options.

On one hand, Villa’s second bid is much closer to Arsenal’s £20million valuation of Martinez than their first offer, which was rejected earlier in the summer.

The transfer funds raised by Martinez’s sale would be a welcome boost as Arteta continues to pursue Lyon star Houssem Aouar, 22, and Atletico Madrid defensive midfielder Thomas Partey, 27.

But on the other hand, Arsenal will not part ways with Martinez on the eve of the new season without assurances that a new back-up option will arrive at the Emirates.


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