Walter Smith: Former football manager dies aged 73
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Emiliano Martinez has emerged as Tottenham’s ideal replacement for Hugo Lloris should the Spurs captain depart at the end of the season, according to reports. The Argentine, who of course has Arsenal connections having spent eight years at the Emirates Stadium, is now widely recognised as one of the finest goalkeepers in the Premier League following his £20million move to Aston Villa in 2020.
The 29-year-old stepped up to the plate under Mikel Arteta in north London after Bernd Leno picked up a knee injury following Project Restart to help them win the FA Cup and Community Shield.
Martinez did not look back after a staggering six loan spells at Oxford, Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham, Wolves, Getafe and Reading respectively, before eventually leaving for Villa Park for regular football.
Since then, Martinez has established himself as Argentina’s No 1 goalkeeper as he helped inspire his national side to Copa America glory earlier this summer with heroics in the penalty shootout triumph over Brazil.
According to The Independent, Martinez is now attracting serious interest from Tottenham, who deem him one of four possible replacements for captain Lloris.
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The Frenchman has revealed he is yet to receive an offer from Spurs to extend his contract, sparking doubts as to whether he will be at the club come next season.
Now Martinez is one of the names in contention to replace him, although he is unlikely to come cheap.
Furthermore, given that he is tied down to a long-term contract in the Midlands, Martinez would have to agitate for a move and given his affiliation to the club, that is no formality.
In fact, Martinez has already reassured the board that he is committed to Villa and is not thinking about potentially moving on.
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He told Sky Sports: “It’s been massive [joining Aston Villa], they obviously opened the door for me.
“After I finished the Copa America, they were maybe worried about other clubs coming in for me or maybe going to a Champions League club.
“But the first thing I said to the sporting director was ‘I wanna be here.’
“It’s a club that helped me be a No 1 and play every single league game and I’m really grateful about it. I love everything about Aston Villa.”
Real Sociedad shot-stopper Alex Remiro and Napoli’s Alex Meret are also understood to be under consideration.
So too is England’s Sam Johnstone, who was looked at during the summer transfer window by Spurs and West Ham.
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The West Brom goalkeeper’s contract is due to expire at the end of the season, meaning he will be free to speak with other clubs in January over a potential move.
Johnstone is believed to be holding out for a return to the Premier League as he looks to help the Baggies bounce back following last season’s relegation.
Spurs skipper Lloris, 34, recently conceded that he was coming towards the final stages of his career.
“I know I am in the last stages of my career,” Lloris said. “I have, I don’t know, three or four years ahead of me. I know that I have to take advantage of it even more than before because one day, it will stop.”
Tottenham are expected to provide clarity of their plans for the future in the coming months, particularly once Lloris enters the final six months of his deal.
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