Man Utd ‘very close’ to signing Villa star before Ten Hag went against board with rejection

Lewis Oldham
Man Utd transfer Martinez
Emiliano Martinez and Douglas Luiz.

It has been claimed that Manchester United were “very close” to signing Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez before Erik ten Hag went against the board.

One of United‘s transfer priorities during last summer’s transfer window was to sign a new goalkeeper following David De Gea’s exit on a free transfer upon the expiry of his contract.

The Red Devils were linked with Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak and Porto’s Diogo Dalot before they paid around £42m to sign Andre Onana from Serie A giants Inter Milan.

This deal saw the head coach Ten Hag reunite with Onana after they previously worked together at Ajax.

Onana endured a difficult start at Man Utd and he particularly struggled in the Champions League, but he grew into the season and arguably proved to be a successful signing.

Argentina international Martinez is another potential Onana alternative considered by Man Utd. He has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League after leaving Arsenal to become a number-one ‘keeper at Aston Villa.

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Martinez’s agent – Gonzalo Goni – claims the Aston Villa standout “was very close to Man Utd” before Ten Hag “chose Onana”.

He also indicates that the board at Old Trafford would have preferred to sign Martinez.

“Last year he was very close to Manchester United, the coach chose Onana, because he already knew him,” Goni said.

“But everyone at Manchester United later maintained that the ideal goalkeeper to win was Emiliano Martínez.”

Man Utd are going to be busy this summer as the addition of a new striker, midfielder and centre-back are understood to be among their priorities.

New co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Co. are expected to offload several talents to raise funds for signings and Football Insider claims they ‘plan to accept offers for three first-team stars’.

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It is claimed that ‘United are willing to sell Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka this summer as they prepare for a blizzard of transfer activity’.

‘The Premier League giants will accept bids for the defenders, who are all regular starters, if suitable offers come in.

‘Sources have said that Maguire would be allowed to leave the club if the deal was right, despite him re-establishing himself in Erik ten Hag’s team last season.

‘The 31-year-old almost left United last season to join West Ham but ultimately stuck it out at Old Trafford.

‘Like the England international, Lindelof and Wan-Bissaka are entering the final year of their contracts, which could lead to them departing.

‘The 20-time champions will not stand in either player’s way should the right offer come in this summer.’