Manchester City keen on signing Barcelona target with €20 million release clause - Reports

Barcelona face competition from Manchester City for Arnau Martinez
Barcelona face competition from Manchester City for Arnau Martinez

Barcelona have been credited with an interest in signing Girona right-back Arnau Martinez, but face competition from English giants Manchester City, according to Spanish sports daily Mundo Deportivo.

Barcelona have identified right-back as a position that needs strengthening in the near future. Sergi Roberto is on the wrong side of his 30s, while Hector Bellerin does not appear to have a long-term future at the Camp Nou.

The Blaugrana have thus been monitoring Martinez at Girona ahead of a potential move. The defender is said to have a €20 million release clause in his contract and would be a feasible option for them.

🚨 Barcelona is closely monitoring Arnau Martinez, among options, as possible RB signing next season. He’s affordable for the club + Xavi rates him highly. In addition, Martinez has already said publicly he wouldn’t mind a return back to Barça. @sergidejuan9 #Transfers 🔍✨

However, the La Liga giants could face competition from Pep Guardiola's Manchester City, according to the aforementioned source. It is worth noting that the Premier League club's owners, City Football Group, have a majority stake in Girona.

Guardiola could take advantage of the ownership by luring Martinez to Manchester City, as per the report. The Spanish tactician appears to be keen to strengthen his options at right-back despite having Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo at his disposal.

Walker will turn 33 years old this year, while Cancelo has struggled for form this season. Guardiola also has teenager Rico Lewis in his ranks but might look to add competition in the area.

Apart from Barcelona and Manchester City, Atletico Madrid have also been linked with a move for Martinez. The 19-year-old could thus be the subject of a three-way transfer battle this year.

How has Barcelona and Manchester City target Martinez fared for Girona?

It is worth noting that Girona right-back Martinez was on Barcelona's books until the age of 14. He began his career with the club's academy, La Masia, but was soon forced to leave the club.

Martinez went on to spend two years with CE L'Hospitalet before eventually securing a move to Girona. He then made his senior debut for the Blanquivermells at the age of 17, featuring in their 2-0 win against Gimnastica Segoviana in the Copa Del Rey in December 2020.

The full-back has since made 80 appearances across all competitions for the Catalonian outfit. He found the back of the net five times and provided nine assists for his teammates in those matches.

Martinez also notably helped Girona earn a promotion to the Spanish top flight last season. He has now established himself as a regular for the club under the management of Michel.

The teenager has a contract with the La Liga club until the end of the 2024-25 season. However, the €20 million release clause in his deal could see him leave the team soon.

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Edited by Dakir Mohammed Thanveer
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