Arsenal are reportedly interested in a summer move for Las Palmas goalkeeper Josep Martinez, who is also drawing interest from Real Madrid among others.
Spanish publication Marca claim former Barcelona star Josep Martinez is drawing interest from several top clubs. While Real Madrid have been tailing the youngster for a while, the report adds Real Betis and Arsenal to the growing list of Martinez’s admirers, with the clubs looking to prise him away from Las Palmas.
The report claims Real Betis and Arsenal are keen on Josep Martinez, who has a €10 million release clause embedded in his Las Palmas contract that runs till 2024, having signed a new deal in July itself. The player is reportedly happy at Las Palmas, with manager Pepe Mel putting his absolute faith in the goalkeeper.
Josep Martinez is a former Barcelona star, having emanated from their fabled La Masia setup. But, the youngster chose to move on a free transfer to Las Palmas, wherein he is set to be the first-choice as the club aims to gain promotion back to La Liga. Interestingly, the 21-year-old finds himself on the radar of Real Betis, Arsenal and Real Madrid.
Arsenal are looking for a new second-choice keeper after Petr Cech retired and David Ospina completed his permanent move to Napoli. Emiliano Martinez could be considered an option but Unai Emery is keen to add to his options in the glove department. With a tight budget to work with, Josep Martinez could be the apt choice for Arsenal.
The agent of goalkeeper Josep Martínez has informed UD Las Palmas that several clubs – Real Madrid Castilla, Arsenal and, now, Betis – are interested in signing his client. The release clause in the goalkeeper’s contract is around 10M, according to a report by @udlaspalmasnet pic.twitter.com/eh4GlBcReE
— AFCMike (@AFCPW) July 13, 2019
Real Madrid, on the other hand, are continuously rumoured to be looking to offload Keylor Navas while third-choice Luca Zidane has moved on loan to Racing Santander. Andriy Lunin is a contender to be the second-choice at the Bernabeu, but bringing in a Spanish player in Josep Martinez will align well with the new transfer strategy Florentino Perez has had in place for the last couple of years.
Real Betis though, could be the dark horses in this race. The La Liga team are looking to strengthen their squad for the 2019-20 campaign and look set to make waves in the transfer market, with Nabil Fekir tipped to complete his move to Spain. Betis do not have a goalkeeping option apart from Joel Robles and would love to bring in Josep Martinez.
The 21-year-old would get a chance to compete for the starting spot at Real Betis while also being privy to top-tier football, which will not be possible if the former Barcelona star stays at Las Palmas or decides to move to either of Arsenal or Real Madrid, with the two European giants unlikely to offer Martinez the same status as Betis.
Nevertheless, €10 million is a bargain for a 21-year-old in the current transfer market. Although relatively unproven in senior football, Josep Martinez could be on his way to the big leagues.