Barcelona are reportedly set to complete the signing of Inigo Martinez with the Real Sociedad defender set to pay his release clause.

Spanish publication Sport have reported that Inigo Martinez has agreed a five-year deal with Barcelona. The Spaniard has informed Real Sociedad that he wishes to leave the club this summer and is set to pay his own €32 million release clause to complete the switch to Camp Nou.

Inigo Martinez progressed through the ranks at Real Sociedad before breaking into the first-team setup in 2011. Over the last six years, the player has been one of the most consistent defenders in La Liga, and has played a key role in La Real’s fortunes.

A mainstay at the back for Real Sociedad, Martinez has already racked up more than 200 appearances for the club’s senior side, and his consistent performances have made him one of the most highly sought-after defenders in Spain for several years now.

But after turning down several opportunities to move away from Anoeta, the player is finally set to leave Sociedad this summer. Barcelona have made various attempts to sign Martinez over the last few years, and they seem to have finally succeeded in pursuit of the 26-year-old this time around.

Ernesto Valverde has reportedly been scouring for centre-backs this summer, having identified the area as one of the positions that need beefing up. Indeed, the newly appointed Barcelona boss has Samuel Umtiti, Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano and Marlon Santos as his current central defensive options.

But, the Blaugrana are looking to send Marlon on a season-long loan move away from Camp Nou to help him gain more top-flight first-team experience. Additionally, Pique and Mascherano have been regularly bothered by fitness issues, accentuating Barcelona’s need to sign a centre-back.

Martinez has, thus, emerged as a viable target yet again this summer, with his ability to build up play from the back making him a good fit in the club’s style of play. The player’s addition would also be a slight reprieve for the Catalans after what has been a disastrous transfer window thus far for them.

All that remains now is for both clubs to officially confirm the move, as Martinez looks destined to finally make the step up in his career.

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