At Barça, the players can well wish for the newcomers…
After the transfer of the much sought-after French defender Jules Koundé (23, goes to Chelsea for almost 55 million euros) from Sevilla FC for Barça burst, the Catalan top club has to reschedule, at least as far as transfers are concerned.
FC Barcelona seems to have had their eye on Basque central defender Iñigo Martínez (31) – apparently at the request of Barça jewel Pedri. The just 19-year-old super talent is close friends with Martínez and would like the central defender with the Catalans.
Foto: picture alliance / DPPI media
Pedri told the Catalan sports newspaper Mundo Deportivo in an interview about FC Barcelona’s trip to the USA: “Of course I would like Iñigo Martínez to be with us. I know him, we appreciate each other very much. He would be an absolute asset, but in the end our coach Xavi has to decide.”
According to “Mundo Deportivo”, talks between Barça and Athletic Bilbao about Iñigo Martínez are said to be underway. Mateu Alemany, sporting director of FC Barcelona, is said to have already spoken to Bilbao President Jon Uriarte on the phone.
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What could speak in favor of Barça is the fact that the Spaniard only has one year left on his contract in the Basque capital. However, Bilbao also insists on the exit clause, which will not be able to be lifted in the amount of 80 million for the “Blaugrana”.
And: According to the Spanish media, Bilbao, who basically only use players who are from the Basque country, are reluctant to sell Martínez because there are not enough Basque central defenders of the regular player’s format! That prevented many a transfer from and to the club!
Iñigo Martínez himself came to the “Rojiblancos” in 2018 for 32 million euros from San Sebastián – also in north-eastern Spain – and played his way straight into the starting eleven. Since the transfer almost four years ago, Martínez has played 158 games for Bilbao and is known as a tough fighter in the league with 60 yellow cards, two yellow-red and two red cards.
A quality that Barça coach Xavi (42) and especially Martínez friend Pedri would like to have in the squad…