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Atletico Madrid set to rival Barcelona for soon-to-be free agent Inigo Martinez

Atletico Madrid have joined the race for Athletic Bilbao defender Inigo Martinez, whose contract expires next summer, reports Diario AS.

Los Rojiblancos have decided to revise their transfer policy next summer. Their focus will be on low-cost signings, free transfers and promoting more academy talents instead of expensive transfers.

Atletico will have to compete with fellow La Liga rivals Barcelona, who have been tracking Martinez for a long time.

It was previously reported that Barca were the front-runners to sign Martinez after reaching a pre-agreement with him over a free transfer next summer.

The Catalans tried to sign the Spanish centre-back last summer but had an offer worth €15 million rejected.

Los Rojiblancos need defensive reinforcements following the departure of Felipe to Nottingham Forest last month. Mario Hermoso could also follow suit, with his contract expiring next summer.

Martinez has been at the heart of Athletic Club’s defence since 2018, making 169 appearances in all competitions.

The 31-year-old has struggled with injury issues this season, which has restricted him to only nine appearances in La Liga.

Atletico are also eyeing a summer move for Leicester City defender Caglar Soyuncu, having struck an agreement with the Turkish centre-back over a free transfer.

More Bosman transfers are being targeted, with Borussia Monchengladbach striker Marcus Thuram on Atletico’s wishlist.

However, a host of Europe’s top clubs are keeping tabs on the Frenchman, making Atletico’s pursuit a difficult one.

Diego Simeone’s side are fourth in the La Liga standings, four points behind Real Sociedad.

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