Tottenham have reportedly narrowed down their search for Hugo Lloris’ replacement and a concrete proposal for Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez could be launched by sporting director Fabio Paratici over the coming weeks.
Lloris has been a loyal servant to Tottenham, racking up almost 450 appearances since signing in 2012. But with the final year of his contract coming up, Spurs are believed to be considering their options ahead of the summer transfer window.
A host of names have been linked with the potential vacancy, including Brentford stopper David Raya, who claims to have turned down two new contract offers from the Bees amid interest from several top sides.
Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez, Everton star Jordan Pickford and Inter Milan’s Andre Onana are also reported to be in the running, but TyC Sports claim that interest is ramping up in Martinez.
The Argentine media outlet claim that Spurs’ interest has reached a point whereby transfer chief Paratici could launch an offer in the coming weeks. Martinez is a late bloomer but his career reached a crescendo late last year when he lifted the World Cup with Argentina.
His possible arrival could lead to Spurs ditching one World Cup-winner for another, following Lloris’ triumph as France captain in 2018. Martinez spent a decade on the books at Tottenham’s bitter rivals, Arsenal, without ever being given an extended run in the side.
Moving to the Lilywhites could therefore be a satisfying way for the 30-year-old to get revenge on his old employers, who flogged him to Aston Villa in a £17million deal two-and-a-half years ago. Martinez has racked up just shy of 100 first-team appearances in the West Midlands, where he has established himself as a capable Premier League shot-stopper.
Whether he would be keen on a move to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium remains to be seen, with uncertainty around manager Antonio Conte’s future reportedly unsettling transfer targets, who want as much clarity as possible.
Conte’s contract expires at the end of the season and it seems unlikely that the Spurs hierarchy will extend his stay, with fans broadly failing to warm to his pragmatic style of play.
Tottenham tightened their grip on fourth spot with a 3-1 victory at home to Nottingham Forest on Saturday, with a brace from Harry Kane and Son Heung-min’s second-half strike making sure of the three points.