Barcelona have their sights on a move for Athletic Club defender Inigo Martinez, who will be a free agent in the summer transfer window. However, the Catalan giants are set to face competition from La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid in pursuit of the veteran star.
Indeed, according to Juanma Castano of COPE, Atletico Madrid have already tabled a contract offer for Martinez as they look to beat Barcelona to his capture at the end of the season.
Barça did not sign a centre-half in January following the retirement of Gerard Pique. And with concerns growing over the form and quality of Eric Garcia, it looks like the Blaugrana will look to rope in a new central defender.
A left-footed centre-back is said to be on agenda at Camp Nou and Martinez is among the candidates that the La Liga leaders are looking at.
The 31-year-old had been on Barcelona’s radars last summer itself, but the move did not go through as they were able to sign Jules Kounde.
But, they have continued to maintain an interest in the Athletic Club centre-back, who is also attracting interest from Italian giants Inter Milan.
Now, Atletico Madrid too have made their presence felt in the race to sign Martinez by sending a contract offer to the Spaniard.
However, reports continue to suggest that Martinez is prioritising a move to Barcelona and will wait for the Catalans to make a decision before he indulges offers from other clubs.
Barça, for their part, are understood to be keen on signing the 31-year-old but are not in a position to guarantee the transfer due to their Financial Fair Play issues.
So, it remains to be seen how things develop in the coming months as Atletico step up the ante in their bid to beat Barcelona to Martinez’s signing.