Javi Martinez Is Reportedly Interested In Returning To Athletic Club This Summer
Gaizka Garitano has made it abundantly clear that Athletic will not look past the next game. Despite being just 3 points off of Europe the Basques are focusing on taking the rest of the season game by game and so far it’s brought great results. On the other hand, Sporting Director Rafa Alkorta has to keep one eye on the future and he’s got a big plan in the works.
According to an exclusive report from Javier Ortiz De Lazcano El Correo, Athletic are ready to go all out to sign Javi Martinez this summer and have made him one of their top transfer targets. The Lions already tried to sign the midfielder in January but were immediately rejected by Bayern Munich. Since then they have remained in contact with the 30-year-old’s representatives who claim that Martinez is “enchanted” about the idea of returning to Athletic.
Javi Martinez left Athletic back in 2012 when Bayern Munich paid his €40 million release clause. Despite being gone, Martinez still loves the city of Bilbao, and Athletic, and regularly visits the area with his wife and two children. He’s even publicly stated how much he adores the city calling it a “Paradise” in an interview with Kicker. Now it appears as though he is very open to a return.
Sources told El Correo that Athletic are serious about their pursuit and have been putting together a plan for a few weeks now. That being said, they also know if will be very difficult. Martinez is still under contract with Bayern Munich through 2021 and his future at the German club depends on how he performs this season. Bayern plan on making several big signings this summer and Martinez could be one of the players offloaded in order to fund new transfers.
Athletic know just how hard it will be to sign Martinez, but they are prepared to do everything possible to make it happen. In this market, considering that the 30-year-old is still one of the best players at his position, it is believed that Martinez would cost the Zurigorri somewhere between €20-30 million as well as €5 million in annual wages. There’s no guarantee that he will return to San Mamés this summer, or that Bayern will even choose to sell, but Athletic are optimistic that they can secure the transfer.