Barcelona are reportedly plotting a move for Athletic Bilbao defender Inigo Martinez this summer. Martinez has become one of the best defenders in La Liga since joining Athletic Bilbao in 2018, and has become a regular member of the Spanish national team.
According to El Gol Digital, Barcelona look set to sign Inigo Martinez this summer as they are prepared to meet Athletic Bilabo's €40 million valuation of the defender.
Inigo Martinez rose through the youth ranks at Real Sociedad before making his senior debut for the club in 2011. Martinez became one of Real Sociedad's star players during his seven years with the club.
He made 238 appearances for La Real in all competitions before joining Athletic Bilbao in a deal worth €32 million in the summer of 2018. Since joining Athletic Bilbao, Martinez has grown from strength to strength.
Barcelona are in the market for a long-term replacement for Gerard Pique. The club will reportedly sign Manchester City defender Eric Garcia on a free transfer this summer as well.
Barcelona are, however, preparing themselves for the potential exit of Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet too. The French duo have been inconsistent for Barcelona this season. Their departure could leave Ronald Araujo and Oscar Mingueza as the only other centre-backs left at Camp Nou.
Barcelona will have to sell some fringe players to fund a deal for Athletic Bilbao star Inigo Martinez
Barcelona are currently facing a debt worth up to £1 billion. The Catalans are also at risk of being banned from the Champions League for up to two seasons due to their involvement in the European Super League. This could also lead to them being imposed with a €100 million fine.
Barcelona will, therefore, have to sell a number of their fringe players to raise funds for new signings. The likes of Philippe Coutinho, Martin Brathwaite, Junior Firpo and Miralem Pjanic could all be deemed surplus to requirements this summer.
The potential sale of Samuel Umtiti could help Barcelona raise the funds required to sign Inigo Martinez.
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