TV3 claims Barcelona will pay €40m for Athletic Bilbao midfielder Javi Martinez if he is willing to lower his wage demands.
Seydou Keita’s decision to reject a new contract at the Camp Nou and join Chinese club Dalian Aerbin has encouraged boss Tito Vilanova to make a fresh push for the Spanish international, who has been on Barca’s radar for some time.
However, Los Leones have so far been reluctant to talk business at anything less than the €40m rescission clause in the player’s contract, while the Catalans insist Martinez would need to start on the third level of the club’s pay scale, similar to Javier Mascherano and Cesc Fabregas when they agreed to a substantial reduction in their salaries after joining from Liverpool and Arsenal respectively.
Martinez, 23, has been in demand for much of the last 12 months, having shown his versatility last season by operating as both a central defender and midfielder, and has recently been linked with a move to Bayern Munich, although the Germans made it clear they were not prepared to go above the €25m mark for him.
According to TV3, if La Blaugrana fail in their attempt to land Martinez then Keita’s absence next term will be covered by Jonathan Dos Santos and Sergi Roberto sharing his role in midfield.