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Barça is considering the signing of Arnau Martínez, the great promise of Girona

Barcelona / GironaIn 12 League games and 6 Champions League games, Barça has lined up a total of five players at right back. There is no more unstable position in the Barcelona team than the one that Xavi Hernández tried to strengthen last summer with an old longing: César Azpilicueta. The coach from Egaren counted that the veteran player from Navarre would help him to solidify the defense, but the vagaries of the market forced Mateu Alemany to prioritize other operations and Azpi, kind of waiting, ended up renewing with Chelsea. As the preferred alternative, Juan Foyth, was too expensive, the last-minute solution was to sign Héctor Bellerín, who arrived on a free from Arsenal, signed for only one year and, conditioned by a sole injury , has only started in three games (Cadiz, Bayern and Viktoria Pilsen). In the rest of the duels, Xavi has shared the initial responsibility at right back with Sergi Roberto (6 times), Jules Kounde (4), Alejandro Balde (3) and Ronald Araujo (2). The player from Reus, like Bellerín, is out of contract next summer and does not have guaranteed continuity, while the others perform better in other positions.

This cluster of circumstances places duties on the coach, who plans to take advantage of the hiatus from the World Cup in Qatar to study market movements with Jordi Cruyff and Mateu Alemany. As far as the right-back is concerned, and as ARA has been able to confirm, one of the names that Barça is probing most seriously is Arnau Martínez. “It’s a good element”, say the Blaugrana sports leadership in reference to Girona’s promising defender, a starter under Míchel Sánchez and one of the most prominent architects of the Catalan team’s recent promotion to the Premier League. The young player from Premià de Dalt likes Sant Joan Despí for his offensive projection, for his competitive nature, for his versatility – lateral or central – and for defensive fundamentals that, taking into account his youth (19 years old), they have a lot of room for improvement. The performance he has offered in the nine League games he has played has made him enter a list of futures that he was not part of months ago. A performance that has also convinced Luis Enrique, who has included him in the pre-list of the absolute selection for the World Cup.

Qualities and future aside, there are two more arguments that Barça positively values ​​when considering the signing of Arnau Martínez. One has a sentimental component, since the defender started at La Masia, where he trained until the age of 13 – later he played at L’Hospitalet and then went to Girona, where he made his professional debut at just 17 years-. “It would be a dream for me to play for Barça”, he admitted a few weeks ago in an interview with SER, in which he also said that Javier Mascherano is one of his references. Arnau is an idol in Montilivi, but he does not hide that he would love to wear the Blaugrana again. This is a detail that reassures Alemany and company, who know that the player will always prioritize a proposal to go to Camp Nou over other offers. The other argument in favor of the operation is that it would have a maximum price of 20 million, apart from the footballer’s salary. This is the number that appears in the footballer’s termination clause since Girona has been in Primera. Last year it was half.

A summer rather than a winter signing

Consulted by this newspaper, the three parties involved imagine the signing more towards the summer market than the winter one. Arnau does not consider leaving in the middle of the season because he is 100% committed to the goal of staying at Girona, who for his part is clear that he will not negotiate below the clause, as he understands that the defender is the most valuable asset of the workforce to achieve an interesting capital gain in the short term. Meanwhile, Barça, who have already informally communicated their interest in the footballer’s surroundings, will take advantage of the World Cup break to plan both what is left of the course and what is to come and, with the calculator of the fair play financial in hand, will study solutions to improve the team. Any move will depend on the chips the club can release and the priority given to each need. There are many open fronts to address, many hot potatoes, starting with Piqué and his overblown contract. However, Arnau already knows that his name will appear in the meetings of the Blaugrana sports management for a very specific demand that comes from afar: to strengthen the right back.

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