Athletic Club Will Pursue Javi Martinez In The Summer Transfer Window
Due to Athletic’s poor start to the season it’s important to take the rest of the year one game at a time. The team is playing much better now under Gaizka Garitano, but the manager has regularly tempered expectations and made it clear that they haven’t accomplished anything yet. Meanwhile, as Garitano and the players can’t afford to look past tomorrow, Rafa Alkorta has his eyes set on the future.
The Sporting Director has publicly stated that his top priority is extending Garitano’s contract. Afterwards, he will discuss the future project with the manager including player renewals and potential transfer targets. Although the two have yet to set the plans moving forward, there is already one thing that is certain. Athletic Club will pursue the signing of Javi Martinez.
Reports in Germany have revealed that Athletic approached Bayern Munich about Martinez in January, but the club had no interest in selling. They weren’t the only ones either as PSG are also said to have reached out to the Bavarians. Bayern may have rejected the idea of offloading Martinez during the middle of the season, but his future at the Allianz Arena isn’t guaranteed.
Despite still being under contract through 2021 Javi Martinez is one of several Bayern players who could be set for a summer exit. “Bayern will be very active this summer”, President Ali Hoeness said in a recent interview. “Javi Martinez, Ribery, Robben, Muller, Boateng…they will be under pressure for the next three or four months. Then we will see who can still be used. It will depend on how they play”.
Martinez has featured in 13 league matches and 4 Champions League fixtures so far this season and has played well. It’s very possible that he will do enough to convince Bayern that he should stay at the club, but if the Germans do choose to put him on the market Athletic are ready to push for his transfer. Just how much the Basques are willing to pay to sign the midfielder is unknown at this time, but he is a top target for Rafa Alkorta.
Even though he left the club back in 2012 Javi Martinez still holds Athletic and the city of Bilbao very dearly. “Bilbao is a paradise”, he recently said. “I have many friends there and I can’t say that I won’t return in the near future.” The Osasuna product regularly visits the city where he still has a lot of close friends and sources have stated that he would be open to returning to Athletic this summer if Bayern Munich look to sell him. For now Rafa Alkorta will continue to monitor the situation closely, but it’s clear that bringing back Javi Martinez is a serious goal for the new Sporting Director.