Barcelona have been long linked with a move for Inigo Martinez and it appears the move is getting seemingly closer to completion, reports Diario SPORT.
The Spanish news outlet claims that Barcelona have assured the Athletic Club centre-back that they will able to secure his services in the coming summer. The player is set to join the club on a free transfer, signing a three-year contract.
Barcelona’s conviction to sign Inigo Martinez is hardly surprising as the club are desperately looking for a new centre-back following the retirement of Gerard Pique.
The veteran centre-back was criticised heavily for his performances and inconsistencies in recent years. But his retirement has left a gaping hole in the Barça backline. Moreover, former Man City starlet Eric Garcia has fallen out of favour, and has been linked with a move away from the club, thus accentuating the need for a new defensive option.
That is where Inigo could come in handy, with the Spaniard offering years of experience at the highest level of football. Barcelona have received interesting offers to sign Evan Ndicka and Aymeric Laporte, but signing Inigo Martinez was always their idea.
The player, for his part, has declined offers from many top clubs across Europe including Spanish giants Atletico Madrid, in favour of a move to Camp Nou in the summer.
The move is now set to become a reality in the coming weeks, with the Athletic Club star likely to compete with Ronald Araujo, Jules Kounde and Andreas Christensen next season.
That said, the move is not official just yet. Barcelona have conveyed that their priority is to sign a right-back and a striker.
Only then, the club would make a move for Inigo Martinez. But with the club unlikely to face any economic hurdle, it appears to be only a matter of time before the deal becomes official.