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Emiliano Martínez joins Aston Villa from Arsenal in £20m deal

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Aston Villa have completed the signing of the goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez from Arsenal on a four-year contract for £20m.

Negotiations over a new contract with Arsenal had stalled, with Villa offering a superior financial package and first-choice status, and Martínez was withdrawn from the squad to face Fulham on Saturday with the transfer close.

They will use some of it on a replacement for Martínez, with Dijon’s Runar Runarsson and Brentford’s David Raya, both of whom have worked with the Arsenal goalkeeping coach Iñaki Caña Pavón, of interest.

“I had 11 years at the club, and even if it was a hard road for me, and I suffered through my time at Arsenal, today I am happy and I tried to show young goalies how work pays off.” Villa were rivalled for his signature by Brighton but made Arsenal the more palatable offer and Martínez looks certain to start their opening Premier League fixture against Sheffield United on Monday.

“I could not be happier to leave through the front door with the Arsenal fanbase supporting me and the club supporting me,” he said.

Arsenal had been reluctant to sell Martínez but, with Leno available and money scarce, the appeal of such a sizeable fee is obvious.

“We moved for Emi when we saw the opportunity,” Smith said, “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.” It concludes a 10-year spell at Arsenal for Martínez, who joined from the Argentinian club Independiente in 2010 but departs after making only 39 first-team appearances.
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