Barcelona very close to reaching full agreement with La Liga veteran over Bosman move
In a huge development, journalists Sergio Santos and Patxo de la Rica (h/t Toni Juanmarti) are claiming that Barcelona are on the verge of reaching a full agreement with Athletic Club defender Inigo Martinez over a free transfer in the summer.
The 31-year-old centre-back has been on the agenda at Camp Nou since last summer and while Barça did not sign him, they continued to monitor his situation at the Basque club.
With his contract expiring in the summer, the Spaniard has shown little interest in renewing with Athletic and despite interest coming from other clubs such as Aston Villa and Atletico Madrid, has continued to prioritise a move to Barcelona.
Now, the aforementioned report is stating that an agreement is already in place between the Blaugrana and Martinez.
Indeed, it is claimed that the two parties have agreed the duration of the contract and the player’s salary. However, some other important details of the deal are yet to be finalised and the Negreira scandal is cited as a hold-up for that.
The report claims that Martinez’s entourage is concerned about Barcelona’s economic situation and any possible blowback from the Negreira scandal that is raging currently. If not for it, the 31-year-old would likely already have signed the contract with the Catalan club.
Martinez had been out of action for over two months due to an injury, but has returned strongly, starting each of Athletic’s last three matches. The Spaniard performed well this past weekend against Barcelona and showed that his fitness issues are not a matter of concern.
Xavi has been batting for the signing of a new left-footed centre-back following the exits of Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti. Considering that the club did not want to spend on a centre-back, Martinez was always the preferred option.
And it now seems like the Spanish international’s signing is all tied up and could be completed once the club deals with the Negreira case and addresses their Financial Fair Play problems.