According to reports, Manchester City and Barcelona will compete for the services of Girona starlet Arnau Martinez. Since making his professional debut in December 2020, the 19-year-old right-back has been a regular in the Spanish team’s first line of defence.
Indeed, 42 of Martinez’s games for Girona came during their successful 2021–22 campaign to move up from the second division. Thus, this gave him a total of 80 appearances for the Spanish side throughout all competitions.
Since then, Martinez has made 16 La Liga appearances this season. In his first season in the top division, Martinez has excelled, demonstrating his defensive prowess. His ability was tested in difficult matches against Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior and Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele.
Numerous elite European teams, notably Barca and Man City, are claimed to have taken notice of the adolescent due to his quick climb to the senior level. According to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona has been monitoring the right-back for several months and has identified Martinez as a potential target.
Who could join Manchester City and Barcelona in race for Arnau Martinez?
According to the report, Atletico Madrid and Pep Guardiola’s Man City are both interested in the right-back and will compete with Barcelona for his services.
At the age of seven, Martinez enrolled in Barca’s renowned La Masia academy. He spent six years in the Catalan club’s juvenile ranks before transferring to La Hospitalet in 2016 and then Girona in 2018.
Thus, it looks like Barcelona does have an upper hand to get the Martinez deal done.
Right-back quartet Dani Alves, Sergino Dest, and Moussa Wague all left the club over the summer, while Hector Bellerin was signed to a temporary contract by Barca manager Xavi.
Alejandro Balde, who naturally plays left back, Jules Kounde, Sergio Roberto, and Bellerin are Xavi’s alternatives at right back now but Bellerin is reportedly close to signing a loan deal with Sporting Lisbon.
Kyle Walker and Rico Lewis, both 18 years old, are right backs for Man City’s first squad, while Joao Cancelo is on the verge of joining Bayern Munich on loan with a buy option for almost £62 million.
It is unclear if Barca, City, and Atletico are eager to pursue a last-minute transfer for Martinez before Tuesday night’s 11:59 transfer deadline or if they would prefer to wait until the summer.
Martinez’s Girona contract, which is set to expire in the summer of 2025, is thought to feature a €20 million (£17.6 million) release clause.
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