It had seemed almost a done deal, but Barcelona have ended their interest in signing Real Sociedad defender Iñigo Martinez according to Mundo Deportivo.
NOTICIA MD: El Barça descarta el fichaje de Iñigo Martínez yICOwovf3m Informa @EduPolo pic.twitter.com/w4fFGBnyuF
— Mundo Deportivo (@mundodeportivo) August 8, 2017
And this development could give Manchester City hope of landing a player who is on their shortlist for a new centre-back, although whether he is at the top of that list is another question.
A separate report by Francesc Aguilar of Mundo Deportivo claims that both City and Inter Milan recently had bids rejected for the 26-year-old, who has four Spain caps to his name.
No figures are mentioned but what is clear is that both offers were below Martinez’s €32million (£29million) release clause, and Sociedad are adamant that their star centre-back will not be sold for anything less than that amount.
With Barça now reportedly out of the race, it offers Pep Guardiola another opportunity to sign Iñigo Martinez, but there will be no negotiating from La Real and City will have to trigger his release clause should they decide to try again.
City are keen to add one more central defender to the squad, one who won’t break the bank, and other than Martinez and one highly speculative report linking Middlesbrough’s Ben Gibson, very few names are circulating in the rumour mill.