Barcelona will be looking to sign a new centre-back in the January transfer window as a replacement for Gerard Pique, confirms Fabrizio Romano. Athletic Bilbao defender Inigo Martinez is a possible option for the Spanish side, being a target for them for quite some time.
Barcelona Earmark Inigo Martinez as January Centre-Back Target
Xavi confirms Barça plan to sign new centre back: “We will go for a centre back in January, it will be a priority as Piqué has decided to leave”. 🔵🔴 #FCB
Barcelona are exploring options with Iñigo Martínez in the list since long time, decisions will be made during World Cup. pic.twitter.com/fP9br3BcGQ
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 4, 2022
Barcelona Have Martinez as One of Many Options to Replace Gerard Pique
Pique surprised many fans by confirming his retirement from football mid-way through the season. In doing so, the Spanish centre-back also decided to terminate his contract with Barcelona and help the club save the major amount of money which they would’ve owed to him through his wages.
Romano confirms that after losing the experienced centre-back, the La Liga side will be looking to sign a new centre-back to help bolster the options in their squad – despite having signed Jules Kounde, Marcos Alonso and Hector Bellerin to improve their backline in the summer. Barcelona have ‘multiple options’ in their list of targets and are yet to make a final decision on which player they’d want to pursue.
Martinez, however, is one of their major targets to replace Pique. He isn’t the only target at all, but is one of the players they are looking into signing. The 31-year-old is quite the experienced player in La Liga and his contract with Bilbao expires next year, which could allow the Blaugrana to sign him on a cut-price deal in January.
Martinez’s Career So Far Recapped
The Spanish centre-back has a decade-long experience of playing in La Liga and has been a consistent figure in the league over the last ten years. He got his breakthrough at Real Sociedad and made 239 appearances for them before joining Athletic Bilbao in 2018.
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Martinez has since gone on to win the Supercopa de Espana title with his side and has been runners-up in the Copa del Rey on two occasions. The 31-year-old has 168 appearances for Bilbao, scoring seven goals and providing seven assists. He has also made 19 appearances for the Spanish national team and was called a ‘magnificent defender’ by Barcelona midfielder Pedri this year – an early hint of how those at Camp Nou admire his talents.