According to Diario SPORT, Barcelona have edged closer to securing the services of Inigo Martinez. The player’s environment has received no official proposals from Athletic Club over a contract extension.
It is worth mentioning that Martinez has shown no real desire to renew his deal at the club either and is well aware of the interest from Barcelona. Therefore, the Blaugrana are confident they can land a deal for the veteran centre-back in the summer, provided they are able to make space in the salary budget.
Following the retirement of Gerard Pique Barcelona have a vacancy in the defensive unit. In an attempt to replace his experience and leadership, Barcelona have set their sights on Martinez.
The Athletic Club centre-back is regarded as one of the more reliable defenders in La Liga and offers abundant experience at the highest level of football.
Martinez has indeed featured in over 350 La Liga matches during his time at Athletic Club and Real Sociedad respectively. He has built a solid reputation for his leadership skills, coupled with his rugged style of defending which make him an appealing option for Barça.
The 31-year-old was linked with a move to Camp Nou even in the summer transfer window. The move never materialised as the club ended up signing the likes of Jules Kounde and Andreas Christensen.
However, Martinez has once again come up on the radar of Barcelona and with his contract at Athletic expiring at the end of the season, the Catalans are in contention to sign the centre-back on a free transfer.
Recent reports had suggested that Barcelona were cooling off their interest in Martinez after Marcos Alonso had proven himself as an additional option in the centre-back position.
But, according to SPORT, Barcelona remain in the hunt for the Spaniard and are now edging closer to his capture on a Bosman deal.