Inigo Martinez was heavily linked with a move to Barcelona during the summer transfer window. The Athletic Club star is into the final year of his contract and was among the defenders that the Blaugrana were looking to sign in the summer.
The speculations picked up when it looked like Barça might miss out on the signing of Jules Kounde, but they managed to land the Frenchman from Sevilla. The rumours resurfaced again after the Blaugrana failed to capture Cesar Azpilicueta.
But a move did not materialise in the end and Martinez has stayed put at the Basque Country outfit, with his contract set to run down in ten months.
The 31-year-old defender was recently asked if the failed move to Barcelona had affected his game or mindset, to which he replied (h/t SPORT):
“I know how the world of football works, a lot of blah, blah, blah and people talking without knowing. I’m happy, I feel good, it’s not that it has affected me much.”
Talking about his future beyond the current season, when his contract will run out, Martinez said: “I don’t think I have to respond now, it’s in the hands of the club and my representative.
There have been speculations that Barcelona might return for Martinez next summer, even though they already have as many as five centre-backs on the books.
But there are some question marks over Gerard Pique’s future, and the seasoned Athletic Club star could be seen as a replacement for the veteran centre-back who can add value to the team with his experience and wisdom.