Barcelona has officially announced the signing of Athletic Bilbao defender Inigo Martinez on a free transfer, confirming the long-anticipated move.
FC BARCELONA AND INIGO MARTINEZ
The Catalan giants had previously agreed to a pre-contract with Martinez, whose contract with Athletic Bilbao was set to expire this summer. Now, the deal has been made official, solidifying Martinez’s move to Barcelona.
The 32-year-old centre-back will join Barcelona on a two-year deal, keeping him at the club until 2025. His contract includes a staggering release clause of €400 million, emphasizing Barcelona’s commitment to securing his services.
Despite interest from other clubs, including Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan, Martinez was determined to make the switch to Barcelona. He will fill the void left by Gerard Pique, who retired from football in November of last year.
During his time at Athletic Club, Martinez established himself as a key figure in their defense, making 177 appearances across all competitions. However, he faced several injury setbacks last season, causing him to miss a significant number of games.
Martinez brings a wealth of experience to Barcelona, having also played for Real Sociedad earlier in his career. Known for his ball-playing abilities as a centre-back, he will provide valuable depth to Barcelona’s defensive options, joining the likes of Ronald Araujo, Jules Kounde, Eric Garcia, and Andreas Christensen.
In addition to Martinez, Barcelona has also secured the signing of talented Senegalese defender Mikayil Faye. It remains to be seen if the 18-year-old will be integrated into the first-team plans for the upcoming season.
Martinez’s arrival marks Barcelona’s third signing of the summer transfer window, following the acquisitions of Faye and Ilkay Gundogan.
As Barcelona continues to strengthen their squad, fans eagerly anticipate the impact these new signings will have on the team’s performance in the upcoming season.