PLAN B: Barça working on ALTERNATIVE to the Koundé deal

PLAN B: Barça working on ALTERNATIVE to the Koundé deal

The Catalan club know that prying the Frenchman from Chelsea is going to be hard, and are already working on a second option

Por: Fernando RomeroViernes 22 Jul 2022

 Despite this week's antics, where they convinced Jules Koundé to board on a plane to Portugal just to keep him away from finalising his deal with Chelsea, Spanish giants Barcelona know that the odds of pulling through the deal for the Frenchman are slim. That's why they're working on other potential deals, and reports have it that the leading candidate is Athletic Bilbao's Íñigo Martínez.

The B plan, Athletic Bilbao's Iñigo Martínez

The B plan, Athletic Bilbao's Iñigo Martínez

Barcelona have been playing all the card available at their hand, but with club president Joan Laporta confessing to a fan (who was recording him) that Koundé "will sign for Chelsea" and reports from England assuring the deal is going in the right direction for the Blues, it's only logical the Blaugrana look somewhere else. 

A few names have been thrown around, but according to Spanish newspaper Sport their main objetive is Íñigo Martínez. The Athletic Bilbao man is eight years Koundé's senior, currently 31 years old, but physically imposing and good with the ball at his feet, so he checks out Xavi's boxes. He's also left footed, an attribute that's becoming increasingly important to have in at least one of your top level centrebacks.

According to Sport's Jordi Gil, there's a complete agreement between the player and the club, with a deal for four years already in place, and it's time for the Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao to reach a compromise. Martínez only has one year in his contract, and reports from Spain claim that the Vasque club will not step in his way if he wants to leave, although they're looking for 50 million euros. 

Iñigo Martinez joined Athletic Bilbao from Real Sociedad for 32 million euros in 2018

Iñigo Martinez joined Athletic Bilbao from Real Sociedad for 32 million euros in 2018

Inigo Martínez has been in the sphere of Barcelona several times. He even started to look for a house in 2017, when Ernesto Valverde had asked for him, but nothing came of it. Now, the deal could be closer to happening, although Barcelona will need to negotiate, as the player's release clause of 80 million euros is something they're not willing to pay.

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