Courtois & Martinez on Barca list?

Thibaut Courtois and Javi Martinez are said to be two of the players Andoni Zubizarreta wants to bring to Barcelona this summer.

Sport reports that the sporting director wants to bring in players who know La Liga, to minimise the time needed to settle in.

It’s felt that Martinez could be tempted by to Spain from Bayern Munich as he isn’t a guaranteed starter under Pep Guardiola.

The former Athletic Bilbao midfielder-defender was previously a target for Barca and it’s rumoured he could be available for less than the €40m Bayern paid the Basques, although still a substantial amount.

Martinez would be used in both the centre of midfield and the centre of defence, the report claims.

The potential signing of Courtois is viewed as a surprise, Sport says, given that Marc-Andre Ter Stegen is close to replacing Victor Valdes as Barca’s No.1, but Barca are in the market for a second goalkeeper and may want to sign a high-calibre alternative to the Gladbach custodian.

Malaga’s Willy Cabalerro has been mooted as a possible back-up for Ter Stegen if Barca choose to go down the route of having the German as the undisputed first-choice, with a veteran employed as cover.

Another potential Barca signing is said to be Athletic’s Aymeric Laporte, although there are concerns over the cost of the Frenchman.

Laporte’s contract calls for a buyout fee of €36m before tax, rising to over €40m when tax is considered. Laporte has admirers at Barca but Athletic would be loath to sell and the fee is considered exorbitant for a player of his relative inexperience.

It is added that Zubi’s intention is to have as much of the Barca remodelling done before the World Cup, then examine where the club stands in August to tweak the squad.

Tags Courtois Javi Martinez