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Arsenal boss Arteta axes Martinez as Brighton rival Aston Villa

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has axed Emi Martinez from his squad for their opening day clash with Fulham.

The Mirror says Martinez's Arsenal future remains in serious question as Brighton join Aston Villa in the race to sign the Argentine goalkeeper.

And Martinez will NOT play for the Gunners at Fulham on Saturday, after being left out of the squad.

Martinez, who arrived at the Emirates in 2010, has made clear his stance that he wants regular first-team football, having starred in the club's FA Cup success.

He wants to be Argentina's keeper at the next World Cup, and knows that unless he's playing week in week out, then he won't be displacing Sergio Romero - despite the irony of the Manchester United stopper only being backup at club level.

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith is keen to take Martinez to the West Midlands to be their new No.1, and has already seen a couple of bids knocked back. Talks remain ongoing between the two clubs and representatives of the player.

And now Brighton are monitoring his situation with an eye on potentially moving to claim his signature - although neither side has come close to meeting Arsenal's £20million valuation.

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Paul Vegas

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