Earlier today, some reports in Spain seemed to suggest that Barcelona had grown somewhat concerned about the number of injuries in their defensive department. As a result of that, they were said to be considering a January move for Athletic Club defender Inigo Martinez.
The 31-year-old has been linked with Barça since the summer window, with Xavi Hernandez said to be keen on adding the experienced centre-back to his roster.
Martinez was looked at as a potential plan B if Jules Kounde did not arrive. But with the Frenchman joining, coupled with the demands of Athletic Club for the defender, a move did not materialise.
However, the Spanish international’s contract with the Basque club expires next year and it has been reported that he already has verbally agreed to join Barça next summer.
But as iterated above, it was claimed earlier today that the Blaugrana might bring him to the club as early as January itself due to the rising number of injuries.
However, a fresh report from SPORT, has now dismissed such a possibility. The publication claims that Barcelona have no intention of spending a penny on signing Martinez as they can sign him for free at the end of the season, once his contract expires.
The Joan Laporta-led administration had taken a similar stance when it came to Eric Garcia’s signing from Manchester City last year. They could have brought him in for a cut-price fee in January, but waited until the summer of 2021 to re-sign the former La Masia ace.
And, as per the report, they plan to take a similar strategy with regard to Martinez’s signing. While there have been a number of injuries in the defensive department, Barça expect almost each of them, barring Ronald Araujo, to return in the near future.
Even the Uruguayan would be expected to be fit and ready for action by January, meaning Xavi will again have as many as five centre-backs at his disposal. So, there is no urgency from the club’s part to sign Martinez in the winter and he will only be brought in as a free agent.