Calgary, Alberta, Canada. July 10, 2020. La Liga Spanish Football Soccer close up to their logo on a jersey. Calgary, Alberta, Canada. July 10, 2020. La Liga Spanish Football Soccer close up to their logo on a jersey. LicenseRM 15796400 LIC:RM

Due to rumors, Jules Kounde’s departure to Chelsea, Barcelona is seeking other options in the central defender position. 

After failing to acquire Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli, Barcelona is now interested in Athletic Club’s Inigo Martinez, who is likely to improve the team’s performance and the Moneyline Bet for Barcelona. The 31-year-old athlete is in the final year of his deal.

The Blaugrana desire Inigo Martinez, whose contract with the Spanish national team expires in 2023.

Xavi appears eager to do everything necessary to prepare for the upcoming season and desires Barcelona to make even more transfers. The team is nearly complete with the arrival of Jules Kounde, but the manager wants to acquire another La Liga defender.

The Interest

Since June, Jon Uriarte has served as the president of Athletic. Since then, he has already encountered his first major obstacle. One of the board’s primary objectives is to convince Martinez to sign a new contract, but if the center-back leaves, the objective is to maximize the situation.

Martinez is a huge fan of Xavi Hernandez, a player against whom he has competed. Having previously played in La Liga, he would also find adjusting to life at Camp Nou simple. 

His release clause at San Mames is €80 million, but he has only one year remaining on his contract and would be available for far less.

Inigo Martinez has spent his entire career playing in the Basque Country. Since joining Athletic Club four years ago from La Liga’s rival Real Sociedad, he has never been better. Martinez has also become a regular member of the Spanish national team.

Athletic respect the player’s autonomy. If he expresses a desire to go and states that he will not renew his contract, the Club will negotiate a transaction for less than the whole sum of his clause, but not less than 50 million euros.

The 31-year-old has appeared in 158 matches with Athletic Club, scoring six goals and assisting seven others. On the other hand, Martinez is in the final year of his contract with San Mames and is unsure of his future plans. 

This circumstance interests FC Barcelona, one of the most dominant teams in La Liga.

In January 2018, Real Sociedad paid his buyout clause of 32 million euros, and he went to Athletic. He signed a five-year contract, and the previous administration halted discussing extending it.

Barcelona is interested in Jules Kounde despite increased competition for his services. Barcelona and Chelsea are both interested in signing the Sevilla defender, and according to recent rumors, Chelsea is close to reaching an agreement with him.

Now that Barcelona has utilized their final “economic lever,” they will discuss the offer with the player if they make one. 

The player is already aware that Barcelona has expressed interest. Athletic Club would be happy to discuss his sale as long as he desired to go, either now or when his contract expired.

Martnez’s career began at Real Sociedad. Before four years, he relocated to Athletic. For over a decade, he has been one of the most dependable and underappreciated defenders in Spanish soccer. 

He shoots with his left foot and possesses the talents necessary to integrate into Xavi Hernández’s system. This may be a great bargain if Barca and Athletic can reach an agreement. 

Kounde or Inigo, or Both?

However, the most recent reports indicate that Barcelona will be the team to sign the French central defender. However, Kounde’s departure remains uncertain, so Barcelona will require a backup plan. Inigo Martinez could be the solution for Barça.

Barça wants to sign Iigo Martnez since they are unable to acquire Koundé. The Basque center-back differs from Koundé in that he is left-handed, 31 years old, and far less expensive. 

The player has agreed to sign a four-year contract with FC Barcelona. The transfer fee must still be determined by mutual agreement between the two clubs.

Monje, the director of football at Barcelona, stated that Jose Manuel Monje, Mateu Alemany, and Athletic Club president Jon Uriarte discussed a potential move for Martinez over the phone. 

The 31-year-old wants to move to Barcelona during the summer transfer window, and discussions have begun between the two clubs.

The scenario cannot continue indefinitely. On Saturday, Athletic Club will play Mainz. Saturday evening, they will return to Bilbao. If Martinez does not play, he may be traded.

The Spanish soccer star believes this is his final opportunity to join Barcelona. With one year remaining on his contract, he may be able to relocate for little compensation. Due to Barcelona’s desire to acquire Jules Kounde first, a deal for Inigo Martinez may not be finalized until August.