Aston Villa star ‘aiming for Champions League’ and rivals ‘admire’ him after World Cup heroics

Lewis Oldham
Brighton v Aston Villa - Emi Martinez celebrates a goal

Emiliano Martinez’s agent has hinted that the World Cup winner could leave Aston Villa as he is “aiming for the Champions League.”

Villa paid around £20m to sign Martinez from Premier League rivals Arsenal in 2020.

Martinez was briefly Arsenal’s first-choice goalkeeper during the 2019/20 season as he came in for the injured Bernd Leno.

The goalkeeper helped the Gunners win the FA Cup but he left in the summer that he would lose his starting place back to Leno.

Martinez has proven to be a brilliant signing for Aston Villa and he has established himself as Argentina’s number-one goalkeeper.

The 30-year-old shone at the World Cup as the South American side went all the way to the final and lifted the trophy after beating France 4-2 on penalties.

The Aston Villa star was key to their victory as he saved a spot-kick from Kingsley Coman. He also got in the head of Real Madrid’s Aurelien Tchouameni before he shot wide.

Unsurprisingly, Martinez’s agent – Gustavo Goni – has been quick to make his player available ahead of the January transfer window.

He has indicated that Martinez has “admirers in the Premier League” and he is “aiming high”.

“Today there are few teams that can afford a goalkeeper like him,” Goni told Tuttomercatoweb.

“But Serie A, well, why not? Clearly aiming high, for the Champions League.”

He added: “People obviously thought about the World Cup. The boy has admirers in the Premier League.

“After all, who doesn’t like a player like him? We will evaluate if a good option arrives.

“He is doing very well, he has been elected the best defender in Serie A. We are fine in Florence but we know the transfer market is unpredictable.”

Martinez won the Golden Glove award at the World Cup following his superb performances.

The ‘keeper caused controversy at the awards ceremony as he held the trophy in front of his groin and shouted to the crowd.

Explaining his actions, he said: “I did it because the French booed me. Pride does not work with me.”

Ex-France international Louis Saha was left annoyed by Martinez’s actions. He thinks the goalkeeper’s antics “overshadowed what he’s accomplished”.

“Emiliano Martínez’s antics are going to be remembered for a long time and that’s a sad thing,” Saha told Paddy Power.

“He had a great tournament, and he didn’t need to do it. It was more about his adrenaline and some people do things without thinking and just instinctively do something they’ll regret.

“I haven’t seen or heard any apology from him for his actions but it’s sad because the conversation takes away from the great World Cup he had.

“It doesn’t help anything, and I don’t know what he was trying to say by doing it – it was really quite awkward.

“It’s overshadowed what he’s accomplished, and people are going to be talking about that, rather than his performance.”

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