(Football news) Barcelona centre back Gerard Pique retired in November last 2022 leaving one centre back short. In January the Blaugrana couldn’t sign a replacement due to financial fair play. However now according to reports they have already agreed a deal with Athletic Club defender Inigo Martinez. The Spaniard has been at the club since 2018 but now his contract runs out at the end of the season. Currently Barcelona has Ronald Araujo, Andreas Christensen, Eric Garcia, Jules Kounde and Marcos Alonso who can play in that position but Martinez gives another strong option to Xavi.
Martinez has established himself as one of the best center backs in La Liga over the past few years. Despite being under 6 ft he is excellent in the air both defensively and offensively. He is in his prime at the age of 31 and is a leader of the backline. His signing will definitely improve Barcelona defensively. There is still a doubt whether Barcelona will be able to sign him considering their financial issues. A lot will depend on the sales that they willl make in the summer. Eric Garcia who has been disappointing since his arrival from Manchester City is one candidate who can be sold to generate funds and free up a space.
Barcelona will be keen on a couple of other signings as well. Sergio Busquets’ contract ends at the end of the season and his future is uncertain. If he does leave then Xavi may want to sign a replacement as Busquets is still a regular player. Another player who has been linked with the club is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. He had a successful 6 month spell at Barcelona after which he was sold to Chelsea. There things didn’t go well and he wanted to return in January but that wasn’t possible due to FFP. According to reports his return could be on the cards if FFP allows it.