Atletico Madrid to go head-to-head with Barcelona for free agent central defender

Athletic Club defender Inigo Martinez appears to be on his way out of San Mames this summer, as his contract dwindles down. One of seven players out of contract in 2023, Martinez was heavily linked with a move last summer, but is free to negotiate with whichever team he likes currently.

Barcelona were the team Martinez was linked with most, with the Blaugrana trying to rebuild their side last summer. However no deal materialised, and Barcelona have brought in Jules Kounde and Andreas Christensen since. The departure of Gerard Pique means Xavi Hernandez has four options at the position, but if Martinez does want to head to Camp Nou, then he may not be an automatic first choice.

As per Sport, Barcelona are edging closer to his signature all the same. However Todofichajes say that they will face competition, with Atletico Madrid also interested and Los Colchoneros have their own defence to rebuild. With Stefan Savic and Jose Maria Gimenez not performing at the expected level, Diego Simeone may well be able to offer Martinez a regular starting place.

Neither will offer the Spanish international a mammoth deal, and it seems a tough call between the two. Ronald Araujo and Jules Kounde are touted as the Barcelona central defence for much of the next decade. Martinez will not want to spend the last years of his prime on the bench, which could be decisive.

Tags Athletic Club Atletico Madrid Barcelona Inigo Martinez
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