Barcelona’s pursuit of Athletic Bilbao defender Inigo Martinez is no more a secret. And now, journalist Gerard Romero has provided a fresh update on the same, saying that the Balugrana’s plan is to sign the towering defender in the summer when he will be available as a free agent.
Furthermore, Romero also said that although both Barcelona and Martinez have established a verbal agreement over the same, nothing official has been signed as of today.
Martinez’s future at Athletic Club has been a subject of massive debate mostly because his current contract ends at the end of the season and it wasn’t long ago that he admitted that there is still no update regarding the same.
“The subject is a bit tiring, but these are things that happen. I am happy here and I feel very comfortable. My future is still not clear at all. It is neither the time nor the place to talk about these issues of my renewal. I do not lose focus and I’m always giving my best for Athletic,” he said.
“I have a contract until the end of the season, I will fight and that is what God wants. I am very happy here, I come every day with a smile and I enjoy Bilbao. I feel loved,” he added.
Now, the fact of the matter is that everything is unknown. While Athletic Club are in constant touch with Martinez’s representative over a potential renewal, it goes without saying that an offer from Barcelona would be too hard to refuse.
At Barcelona, there is a growing sense of belief that a centre-half is a necessity mostly because Gerard Pique has now retired. But the emergence of Marcos Alonso as an option at centre-back has meant that the club are not looking for a new player for the position in January.
However, the Spaniard will only be seen as a temporary solution and Barcelona will look to sign a central defender in the summer, with Martinez the most likely to arrive.
It has previously been reported that a verbal agreement is in place and Romero, too, corroborates those claims, although he insists that nothing has been signed as of yet.
But, as things stand, all signs point towards Martinez joining Barcelona as a free agent next summer.