Barcelona closely monitoring 19-year-old former La Masia right-back – report
Barcelona are closely following the development of Girona’s teenage defender Arnau Martinez, reports Adrian Sanchez.
A former La Masia prospect, the 19-year-old spent time at Barcelona’s youth academy between 2010 and 2016, where he played with the likes of Alejandro Balde and Xavi Simons.
However, he left the club to join L’Hospitalet in 2016 before signing for Girona two years later. Since then, he has risen through the ranks at the Catalan club and was a key part of the team that earned promotion back to La Liga earlier this year.
In his debut season in the Spanish top-flight this time around, Martinez has made a good impression, even scoring two goals in his five appearances so far.
A versatile defender who can play as a full-back and a wing-back on the right side, as well as a centre-half, the teenager has seemingly registered on his former club Barcelona’s radar yet again.
As per the report from Adrian Sanchez, the Blaugrana have received good reports on the Spain Under-21 international since last season when they had considered the possibility of signing him on loan with a permanent purchase option.
While no such move materialised, it seems like Barça have continued to keep tabs on the teenager as they will be needing to invest in new right-backs come summer of 2023.
Indeed, both Hector Bellerin and Sergi Roberto will be out of contract at the end of the season, leaving the Catalans with no specialist right-back in the squad for the next campaign.
So, there is a possibility that Barcelona will look to sign two right-backs in the next summer transfer window. And a move for the former La Masia ace could be a possibility.
Martinez is contracted with Girona until 2025, having signed a new deal in January earlier this year. It will be interesting to see how much they demand for the young defender if Barcelona decide to act on their interest in him.
For now, though, the Blaugrana are keeping tabs on his progression with their Catalan rivals.