Barcelona are reportedly a step closer to securing the services of Inigo Martinez from Athletic Bilbao in a €40 million deal this summer.
According to a report by Spanish outlet El Gol Digital, Barcelona appear set to sign Inigo Martinez in the summer transfer window. The Catalan giants are prepared to meet Athletic Bilbao’s €40 million valuation of the 30-year-old Spanish international, meaning the deal could be completed soon.
Inigo Martinez arrived at Athletic Bilbao in the summer of 2018 after having spent his entire senior footballing career with Real Sociedad. Since joining Los Leones, the 30-year-old has continued to go from strength to strength and has even become a regular for the Spanish national side.
Till date, Martinez has featured 125 times for Bilbao, even chipping in with 3 goals and 7 assists. However, 2020/21 appears to have been his final season at San Mames, with a summer move appearing to be likelier by the day. And, his next destination seems to be Barcelona.
Barcelona are already on the verge of signing one centre-back in Eric Garcia, but are seemingly intent on securing the services of a second central defender as well, and for good reason. While Garcia arrives as a potential long-term successor for Gerard Pique, Barcelona also have the problem of possibly offloading the inconsistent French duo of Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti.
If the aforementioned pair indeed part ways with the Blaugrana, then the inexperienced Ronald Araujo and Oscar Mingueza will be the only other centre-backs remaining at Camp Nou. To that end, signing a left-footed, experienced central defender becomes imperative for Barcelona, which is perhaps why they have been offered the chance to sign Alessio Romagnoli.
Martinez, too, is a viable target for the Catalan outfit, considering he is unlikely to take a long time to get settled in at Camp Nou. And, Barcelona appear set to make the 30-year-old their second central defensive recruitment in the summer, with the report claiming that they are ready to meet Athletic Bilbao’s €40 million valuation of the player.
In fact, the Basque club, on their part, have already started planning for life after Martinez, which suggests that the move is all but done. What now remains to be seen is if Barcelona can quickly wrap up the €40 million deal, as they look to complete their transfer dealings well in time ahead of pre-season.