Widespread reports suggest that Barca are closing in on a deal for an exciting player who could prove to be a major part of their new project under manager Xavi Hernandez.
Athletic Club defender Iñigo Martínez will be Barcelona’s first signing of the summer transfer window.
That’s according to Fabrizio Romano. The transfer journalist claims Martínez agreed terms with Barcelona back in March. The central defender signed for the club in May. He will arrive on a free transfer, as his Athletic contract is up in the summer.
On Tuesday, Athletic confirmed Martínez will leave the San Mames. The 32-year-old thanked the Basque club and its supporters in a farewell message, but he made no mention of his future plans.
“The time has come to leave Athletic to take on new sporting challenges. It’s not easy to leave this club, nor my homeland, but it was the right time,” he said.
“I’ve given my all for this shirt and for these fans. I want to thank the coaching staff, the club’s employees, my teammates, and the fans.”
Martínez joined Athletic in January 2018 from boyhood club Real Sociedad for a €32 million fee. The Spaniard made 177 appearances for the Lions. He supplied eight goals and assists and won the Spanish Super Cup in 2021.
Barcelona are expected to announce Martínez’s arrival in the coming days. He will compete with Andreas Christensen, Ronald Araújo, Jules Koundé, and Eric Garcia for a spot in central defense with the LaLiga champions next season.
Iñigo Martinez has just confirmed that he’s set to leave Athletic Club — he will be announced as Barça first signing, it’s done since March. 🚨🔵🔴 #FCB
Martinez signed official documents in May, his contract will be valid until June 2025. pic.twitter.com/yJhDsmTSqY
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 6, 2023