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Barcelona still interested in Athletic Bilbao defender Inigo Martinez?

Barcelona still interested in Athletic Bilbao defender Inigo Martinez?

Barcelona reportedly intend to try to sign Athletic Bilbao defender Inigo Martinez before the end of the summer transfer window.

Despite their well-documented financial issues, Barcelona have been able to register the majority of their new arrivals in their La Liga squad.

However, although they won the race to sign Sevilla defender Jules Kounde several weeks ago, club officials are still attempting to find a way to add the Frenchman to the list of available players.

A number of reports have indicated that Barcelona must raise £17m for that to be achieved, either through parting ways with Memphis Depay, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or other fringe players.

Barcelona also hold a long-standing interest in Chelsea left-back Marcos Alonso, who will not be signed unless progress is made with the ongoing problems.

Barcelona coach Xavi during the match on March 10, 2022© Reuters

Nevertheless, according to Fichajes, that may not stop Barcelona from attempting to bring in Martinez from San Mames over the coming week.

The report claims that Athletic have already rejected a proposal worth €15m (£12.7m) plus €5m (£4.23m) in a bid to retain the services of the long-serving player.

Nevertheless, it is said that the 31-year-old has no interest in extending his contract past the end of 2022-23, leaving open the possibility of a transfer over the next six days.

Martinez will allegedly expect to make the switch to Camp Nou on a free transfer if he enjoys a productive year with Bilbao during the current campaign.

Spain's Inigo Martinez wins a penalty against Greece on November 11, 2021© Reuters

As it stands, though, Martinez has been absent from Athletic’s opening two La Liga matches of the season due to issues with his knee.

Furthermore, Ernesto Valverde‘s team have kept back-to-back clean sheets against Mallorca and Valencia respectively, accumulating four points in the process.

From the perspective of Barcelona head coach Xavi, he already has four players at his disposal for the centre-back position even without the availability of Kounde.

The situation seems unlikely to improve before Barcelona play host to Real Valladolid on Sunday evening.

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