Barcelona failed to sign Inigo Martinez who chose to renew his contract at Athletic Bilbao rather than move to the Catalans.
Crazy Ball – Barca hope to secure the services of Martinez in the transfer market this summer. However, that hope seems to be dashed soon, as the Spain international is exploring a new contract with Athletic Bilbao – who are ready to land him a long-term contract.
Inigo Martinez’s game has been getting brighter now, since his controversial transfer from Real Sociedad to Bilbao almost four years ago. The 31-year-old centre-back has proven himself to be one of the most reliable defenders in La Liga, while he has also managed to solidify his position in the Spanish national team.
The experienced centre-back has played in 158 games for Bilbao, in which he scored seven goals and provided seven assists. However, Martinez’s future at the Basque club is unclear, after his contract expires next year. This situation then attracted the attention of Barcelona.
Barca are likely to be guerrillas in the summer transfer window for a new centre-back. This is despite their success in getting Andreas Christensen from Chelsea. Moreover, the Blaugrana can release Samuel Umtiti, Clement Lenglet and Oscar Mingueza ahead of the 2022/23 season, after all three are considered surplus to the team.
The departure of Umtiti and Lenglet will make Xavi Hernandez have to play a left-footed center back in his squad list, until the name Inigo Martinez appears as a candidate. His experience in La Liga makes him a perfect target for Barca, especially as Gerard Pique is entering the end of his playing career.
Martinez’s contractual situation further makes him an attractive player for Barcelona – who could ideally sign him at a discounted price. However, Bilbao will soon hold new contract negotiations with the player, and make Barca’s hopes of signing him fail.
However, it will certainly be interesting to see if Barca can convince Martinez to reject Bilbao’s new offer and move to Camp Nou. Otherwise, the Catalans will have to find another player, with Kalidou Koulibaly on their radar. Thus expressed The Hard Tackle.