As per reports in the English media today, Premier League leaders Manchester City are ready to challenge Liverpool and Barcelona in the race to sign Real Sociedad defender Inigo Martinez.
Martinez, a 26-year-old Spanish international, has spent his entire career to this point at the Anoeta Stadium, and has long been regarded as one of the finest stoppers in the Spanish top-flight.
As a result, the 4-time capped La Roja star has been persistently linked with a move away from Sociedad for several summers now, with some of Europe’s biggest clubs having reportedly been rebuffed in offers for the central defender.
Barcelona’s interest in bringing Martinez to the Camp Nou during the summer transfer window was common knowledge, with the Blaugrana having offered 25 million Euro for his services.
However, the Sociedad youth product’s release clause is set at 32 million Euro, a figure which the Catalans refused to cough up.
Marca claimed earlier this month that Barca will renew their bid to bring Martinez to the club in January, with Liverpool also touted as a potential destination for the Spaniard come the new year.
Jurgen Klopp reportedly views Martinez as an ideal alternative to first-choice defensive target Virgil Van Dijk, whom Southampton are not ready to give up without a fight.
And, as per a growing number of outlets in England this afternoon, Manchester City have now joined the race for Martinez, with Pep Guardiola and co. ready to launch a January bid.
The Citizens’ lack of strength at the heart of their defence has emerged as a concern for Guardiola over recent weeks, after John Stones picked up a hamstring injury, ruling him out of action for at least another month.
With Vincent Kompany’s injury problems hardly a secret, the Spanish tactician has reportedly informed the club of a glaring need for reinforcements at centre-half, with Martinez a leading candidate.