Official: Iñigo Martínez signs for Barcelona

Barcelona communicated on Wednesday what was an open secret and made official the signing of Iñigo Martinez by the Blaugrana club. The 32-year-old central defender will sign for two seasons and will be presented next week. He will have a termination clause of 400 million euros.

Iñigo Martínez arrives at Barcelona with the letter of freedom after not renewing his contract with Athletic Club, the team in which he has played for the last ten seasons and to which he arrived from Real Sociedad.

In his first words as a ‘culer’, the man from Ondárroa assured that he arrived “with great enthusiasm, wanting to contribute everything I have, arriving at this great club is tremendous. Many years to finally take that leap that any player wants. The confidence from the first minute was great and I hope to return it on the field with my work. Opt for the maximum, win all possible titles, but we all know that it is usually complicated and behind it there is a big job. If we are well and do things well as they did last year, the results will come”.

As for Xavi Hernández, his new coach, he stated that it is “a luxury to have him as a coach. Since he played we followed him, those of us who like soccer are those types of players we pay attention to. Having him as a coach, with what he can contribute and teach us, is going to be wonderful”.

The Spanish international was already on the verge of signing for the Blaugrana club seven years ago at the request of Ernesto Valverde, then coach of the Catalan team, but finally the transfer was frustrated when it was already agreed.

Iñigo had been committed to Barcelona for months and in fact has already been installed in the Catalan capital for a couple of weeks.

On Tuesday, Iñigo Martínez already worked out in the Sant Joan Despí Sports City gym, where he met Alejandro Balde, who was recovering from the injury he suffered on the last day of the League.

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He also underwent a Photoshoot made by the club’s media, already posing with the Barcelona shirt.

inigo will be the second reinforcement of the 2023/24 season, after the incorporation of Ilkay Gündogan. His arrival will reinforce the position of left center back where the Danish Andreas Christensen has initially won the stripes of ownership. The signing of Iñigo directly affects two players. On the one hand, to Marcos Alonso, who this season will recover his role in the left lane, and on the other, to Eric Garcia, who is no longer relevant in the team, so his future right now is in the air.

Iñigo will start the season on July 10, Date on which the first batch of first team footballers joined. A week later, on July 17, the internationals would return. And on July 19, the team will begin a tour of the United States to play a total of four friendlies.

Iñigo’s departure from Athletic Club has caused controversy in the Basque team. Former President Iñigo Elizegi explained at the end of the season that the player rejected the renewal offer from the Basque team, revealing that “Iñigo and Carmelo (Sánchez, his agent and uncle) lose out. There was time and calm for the offer in the case of Iñigo Martínez. He told us, I’m sorry, but we’re going to wait”, in relation to the elections and the arrival of a new Board of Directors at the Ibaigane offices.

While the current president, Jon Uriarte, assured that the club wanted to renew the defense and that it was the player who “wanted to leave” and thus he transferred it through his representative “absolutely” at the end of the August market of last year: “Athletic wanted to renew Iñigo and it was Iñigo who wanted to leave to another club.”

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