Manchester City are in search of a centre-back who will not break the bank, which rules out the likes of Virgil van Dijk, a previous target of the club who now has an astonishing £60million-plus price-tag on his head by Southampton.
One name that has been frequently linked with a move to Pep Guardiola’s side of late is Spain international Iñigo Martínez, who plays for Real Sociedad in La Liga. Back in early July, Marca reported that City were one of the teams interested in paying his reasonable €30million (£26.9million) release clause, along with Barcelona, Juventus and AC Milan.
City’s interest in Iñigo Martínez has since been confirmed by several English journalists, although it has been suggested he wasn’t the name at the top of Guardiola’s list of centre-back targets.
An intriguing story from the AS newspaper in Spain today will certainly give Blues reason to talk though. According to a report by Roberto Ramajo, an unnamed big English club has made a ‘succulent offer’ to Martínez and are willing to pay his full release clause. In today’s market €30million is not too high for an experienced Spain international, and would match the stories of City not wanting to pay a crazy amount for a central defender.
Martínez is also a left-footed centre-back so could be viewed as a direct replacement for Aleksandar Kolarov, who recently ended his long stay at the Etihad with a move to Roma.
It is possible that a club like Liverpool (perhaps if their pursuit of Van Dijk doesn’t work out) are also in for the 26-year-old, capped four times by Spain, but recent reports could point to this offer having arrived from Manchester City.
Martínez isn’t the only Real Sociedad player being associated with City in the press. The same report states that Gerónimo Rulli, previously owned by City, has agreed personal terms with Napoli, who have been pursuing him for a while now. No deal has been struck between the clubs, with La Real wanting a fee of over €20million, but should a sale happen then City will be entitled to 30% of the fee.