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Barcelona reach agreement to sign Inigo Martinez for free, provided FFP allows

Barcelona have struck an agreement to sign Athletic Bilbao centre-back Inigo Martinez as a free agent in the summer, reports Spanish journalist Gerard Romero.

The Athletic Club defender is out of contract at the end of the season.

Martinez has been linked with the Catalans and other La Liga clubs since last summer.

However, Barca have won the race to sign the 31-year-old, but a deal hinges on Financial Fair Play.

La Liga prevented the Camp Nou club from making January additions as they were already in breach of the salary limit rules.

The president of the league Javier Tebas has claimed they must shed €200 million off their wage bill to have a chance of signing new players.

It could see Barca activate new financial levers having done so last summer.

They cannot afford to miss out on the chance to sign Martinez for free.

The veteran defender can be an upgrade for Xavi’s backline given his huge experience.

He is also a goal threat at the other end due to his aerial abilities.

Adding Martinez to their defence for free is an opportunity Barca cannot afford to miss.

The former Real Sociedad star knows playing for the La Liga leaders guarantees more winner’s medals.

He has won just a Spanish Super Cup in a career that has spanned over 12 seasons and 450 games.

Barcelona are expected to win the title for the first time since 2018-19.

They are 12 points clear of closest challengers Real Madrid at the top of the table with 12 games left.

Blaugrana have lost just two games and conceded just nine goals. Xavi has built his team’s success on a solid defence.

Martinez could soon join Jules Kounde, Andreas Christensen, Eric Garcia and Ronald Araujo as the club’s central defensive options.

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