Javi Martínez Asks Bayern Munich For Athletic Club Return
For the past 18 months Athletic have been pursuing Bayern Munich midfielder Javi Martínez. With just one year left on his contract, this summer may be the best opportunity for Martínez to return to San Mamés as Bayern are looking to cash in on the 32-year-old to avoid losing him for free next year. The German side recently placed a €15 million price tag on Martínez, a figure Athletic are unwilling to meet, but a deal may still be possible.
Despite being linked with multiple clubs, Martínez only has one destination in mind. According to a report from the ever-reliable Jose Manuel Monje of Onda Vasca, Martínez has told Bayern that if he leaves this summer he wants to return to Athletic.
When Martínez made the move from Athletic to Bayern back in 2012 the Basques refused to negotiate, forcing Bayern to pay the player’s €40 million release clause. Bayern now have no desire to do Athletic any favors in return. However, Martínez has served the German club faithfully for the past eight years. If he has truly asked to return to Athletic then Bayern may be willing to help facilitate an exit.
“We will try to find a fair solution, we won’t prevent his departure,” Bayern Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told Die Welt over the weekend. At this point it seems as though Martínez will only leave Bayern Munich to join Athletic or see out the final year of his contract before making the move back to San Mamés next year. The two clubs will have until the transfer window closes on 5 October to reach a deal.
Martínez is currently on vacation with his family in Ayegui, just under two hours away from Bilbao, while he waits for his future to be determined. The 32-year-old has already agreed to personal terms with Athletic, per Ander Cotorro of Marca, with the clubs just needing to finalize an agreement. Athletic is said to be determined to bring Javi Martínez back this summer. The club prefers a move now as opposed to waiting until next year when he could return for free.