Man United transfer news: £22.5m-rated Aston Villa star targeted

Emiliano Martinez

Football Insider reports that Manchester United are preparing a bid for Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez at the end of the season.

It is claimed that United are planning to offload David de Gea and Sergio Romero in the summer, and will look to bring in Martinez to challenge Dean Henderson for the goalkeeping jersey next term.

Price-tag and contract situation:

Following an impressive last 12 months, Martinez's value has shot up to £22.5m, according to Transfermarkt.

Villa paid just over £15m for the shot-stopper last September, and it seems that United will need to pay substantially more than that to land their target. Martinez has over three years remaining on his contract at Villa, which runs until June 2024.

Statistics:

Dean Smith's side have kept 14 clean sheets with Martinez in goal this season in the Premier League - only Manchester City and Chelsea have bettered this number.

When looking more closely at Martinez's numbers specifically, they are even more eye-catching. Of all players to have featured in at least 10 top-flight games in 2020/21, Martinez has the highest save percentage rate at 78.7%.

Meanwhile, Sam Johnstone and Illan Meslier are the only goalkeepers to have made more than Martinez's total of 94 league saves this year.

Expert opinion:

Martinez has received widespread praise for his performances this season. One of his standout displays came last month against Brighton, as Villa clung on for a 0-0 draw.

Following that match, Alan Shearer waxed lyrical about the Villa shot-stopper.

As quoted by The Birmingham Mail, he said on Match of the Day: “Only City and Arsenal have conceded less than Villa and that’s largely down to him, he’s been a superb signing. What a signing he’s been, he’s been magnificent."

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Verdict:

It seems that United's new recruitment team of John Murtough and Darren Fletcher are keen to flex their muscles in the upcoming transfer window. 

However, it is somewhat of a surprise that they are deciding to focus on this area of the team. The Red Devils' first-choice goalkeeper de Gea has done very little wrong, and has made just one error leading to a goal this season - the same number as Martinez.

Furthermore, Henderson has also looked to be a capable replacement, and his save percentage is up at 86.4% in the six league matches he has played in.

United's fans will be pleased that the board appear ready to spend, but the money would be better off being used on improving the side's attack.

United still lack an undisputed option at centre-forward, with no player making more than 12 Premier League starts there this season, and Edinson Cavani is reportedly on his way to Boca Juniors.

Murtough should be devoting United's funds and his attention to finding an adequate front-man - not revamping an area of the first-team that's already well-equipped. 

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