Inside story of how Erik ten Hag prevented Manchester United from signing Emiliano Martinez

Inside story of how Erik ten Hag prevented Manchester United from signing Emiliano Martinez

Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag reportedly vetoed a move for Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez during the summer transfer window.

The Red Devils had to say goodbye to their long-serving goalkeeper, David de Gea, as his contract expired after 12 years with the club.

Despite De Gea’s impressive record, his final season at Man United had a few errors, and they couldn’t reach an agreement on a new contract with reduced pay.

With Dean Henderson also leaving for Crystal Palace, leaving Tom Heaton as the most senior goalkeeper at the club, Man United’s recruitment team was on the lookout for new shot-stoppers for the 2023-24 season.

They were linked to several names, including Jordan Pickford from Everton and Emiliano Martinez from Aston Villa. However, the club ultimately decided to sign Andre Onana from Inter Milan and Altay Bayindir from Fenerbahce.

According to The Independent – via the Manchester Evening News – Man United chiefs were eyeing a move for Martinez, who had won the Golden Glove with Argentina en route to World Cup 2022 glory.

However, Ten Hag blocked the club from making an official approach for the former Arsenal man in favour of a reunion with Onana, whom he had coached during their successful stint at Ajax.

The Dutchman’s desire to bring Onana to Old Trafford ultimately won out, but the Cameroonian stopper has endured a turbulent start to life at Old Trafford, conceding 30 goals in his opening 18 games.

Onana has often been the subject of criticism for perceived poor displays, and he has already shipped 11 goals in four Champions League contests, including four to Copenhagen in midweek.

The 27-year-old has not been without his positive moments at the Theatre of Dreams, though, saving a last-minute penalty from Jordan Larsson in a 1-0 victory over the Danish side two weeks before their 4-3 loss in Group A.

Onana kept his sixth clean sheet of the season in all competitions in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Luton Town, which was his second league shut-out on the bounce after last weekend’s identical triumph at Fulham.

Meanwhile, Martinez has four shut-outs to show from his opening 15 games of the new term, only registering two clean sheets in the Premier League and conceding in each of his last five top-flight games.

Nevertheless, the 31-year-old won the Yashin Trophy at this year’s Ballon d’Or awards on account of his World Cup exploits with Argentina, while Onana placed sixth in the ranking after helping Inter Milan reach the final of the Champions League.

Man United return to action after the international break with a trip to Goodison Park to meet Everton on November 26, before trying to keep their Champions League dream alive against Galatasaray three days later.

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