Emiliano Martinez was left out of the Arsenal squad to face Fulham on Saturday as he is edging closer to the north London exit door.
The goal has heard that Brighton has now joined Aston Villa in the goalkeeper race, who played a key role in Arsenal’s FA Cup success last season in the final weeks of the season having filled in for the injured Bernd Leno.
Villa has tabled two bids for Martinez so far but has yet to reach the asking price of Arsenal’s £ 20 million ($26 m). Their second bid came similar to that amount but only after factoring in add-ons and bonuses.
Sources close to the Argentine keeper have reported to Goal that Brighton has now entered the running for the 28-year-old and sent a bid that exceeds that of the Midlands club but the Gunners have not approved it.
However, Villa is expected to return with another offer imminently, and remain optimistic that they will eventually land Martinez, who will not be involved on Saturday when Arsenal launches their new campaign in the Fulham Premier League.
Mikel Arteta agreed to remove the keeper from his squad amid such heightened transfer activity, with Martinez playing his last game for the club almost certainly now.
Arteta was asked about his goalkeeper’s future during his pre-match press conference Friday.
“Of all our players I can’t avoid speculation,” he said.
“At the moment I don’t want to comment on any person without having to give the right answer. We’ve got some very good players in several different positions and some are duplicated. Clubs come to us and are interested in getting our players out there.”